Charcoal on strathmore paper 18”x24”
Artist: Tim Benjamin, 1996
            Jordan Taylor Hanson (born March 14, 1983 in Jenks, Oklahoma) is one of the singers in the band Hanson.[1] He also plays keyboard, percussion (including bongos and the tambourine), drums, guitar and piano.. He is also the lead singer of super group Tinted Windows .
            In the spring of my senior year of high school, I was watching Mtv one evening and an up beat tune flash across the screen.   Three longhaired kids in a band were playing
Taylor Hanson
a pop song that was different than anything I had seen of late.   The imagery was of hippie kids to me as I am a child of hippies and appealed to my VW bus living background.
Oklahoma Today
            Watching the buzz worthy news I had learned that the band of brothers called Hanson were from Tulsa, Oklahoma which is the city where I was born, where my parents met, where my mother was born and raised and
where my grandparents have lived since they
bought there home after World War II.
  The city of Tulsa has gained great pride in its association with Hanson and in fact May 6 has been declared "Hanson Day" for it is the date that in 1997 when Hanson released their third (first on a major label) studio album, Middle of Nowhere , on a major record label Mercury Records. In many ways this band called Hanson has a personal connection with me.
            At this same time in my art career and student life, I was to paint my third acrylic on canvas and a self-portrait at that. The idea for this painting was one of many of my graphite illustrations in that I felt the need to make use of the entire surface after all my thrifty nature dictates such actions and thus a collage of subjects was to make up the self-image, "Impermanence."   In the top corner I decided to follow a thought from my hormones and edging rebellious self-expression and paint an image of the suspected lead singer of Hanson, Taylor Hanson.  
MmmBob Music Video
            The previous weekend I had planned on purchasing the single for Tracy Chapman's hit "Give Me One Good Reason" and the album Middle of Nowhere by Hanson.   In the end I had been informed that Middle of Nowhere had not yet been released and I bought the single for "MmmBop" and I could not find the single for "Give Me One Good Reason" so I had bought and enjoyed the Tracy Chapman album New Beginning and enjoyed it greatly.   The cover of the "MmmBop" single cover had the three brothers lying in the grass of a very familiar park setting from my childhood and I chose this as a part of my self-portrait.   The smaller image of the soon to be released album Middle of Nowhere had a different cover image and it was the brothers standing in the same park.  
Both images gave me the impression of nature loving, hippie youth wearing clothing I could not afford.   Later after buying the actual album, I added the image of the brothers fencing.

"MmmBob" single

            With duct tape I attached the CD-single cover art of "MmmBop" to my canvas in my high school art class, I went at the task of painting the image from the yellow toned front cover with natural colors of the smaller Middle of Nowhere image on the opposite side.   The reaction from my classmates was one of astonishment.   My musical repartee at that time publicly was of grunge and rock bands that hated their father.   My dark demeanor did not coincide with pop or the optimism that seemed to flourish in the "MmmBop" song and video.   Thus, as a result of this mysterious act, I added the inner self of what could bounce out the angry rebel that was myself at the time.

Middle of Nowhere cover art on the "MmmBop" single

            The charcoal portrait of "Taylor" Hanson was made later as I was exposed to more images of the band came out as well as information.   I just named the portrait Taylor due to not wanting to explain who Taylor was and have people just like the portrait as a portrait and not think of "MmmBop."   Taylor plays keyboards and piano for the band Hanson (originally known as The Hanson Brothers later changed to just 'Hanson', in 1992) with his older brother Isaak and younger brother Zac. Taylor is the second oldest child of Clarke Walker Hanson (born June 1, 1954) and Diana Frances Hanson (née Lawyer, born April 30, 1954). He is one of 7 children, his siblings being: Clarke Isaac (born November 17, 1980); Zachary Walker (born October 22, 1985); Jessica Grace (born July 31, 1988); Avery Laurel (born November 4, 1990); Joshua Mackenzie (born January 7, 1994) and Zoë Genevieve (born January 14, 1998).

Taylor performing 2005

The music video for "Weird," a track off Middle of Nowhere caught my eye as much for its unique special effects as well as its message of not fitting in. The music video for "Weird" was directed by one of my favorite film directors Gus Van Sant.   It was Van Sant that directed one of my three favorite films of all time My Own Private Idaho . The shots in the white room were filmed in a giant round Victorian room with a floor of lights that rolled on its side and were twenty feet tall. The painting on the wall of the white room was The Judgment of Solomon by eighteenth century Italian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and was a smooth, enlarged color print, so Hanson could slide across it as the room revolved. Another tricky part of the video shoot was having Hanson swim underwater and lip sync to the song at the same time. The guys had to wear weights so they wouldn't float out of shot. They also had to hold their breath for a whole verse while they swam towards the camera. The video also shows Hanson in Times Square, New York and on the New York Underground.

"Weird" music video

"Hanson Jump"

            It is the relationship of brothers working together in a musical band that is however not new but I enjoy the idea that a family can put up with one another in such an environment.   This idea of family getting along for a purpose of the celebrity machine and have work that I have noticed here and there in the world and has caused me to pause.   The Hanson brothers have fun and this family image caused me to draw "Hanson Jump."

Isaak. Zac and Taylor
            Taylor Hanson is a co-founder and co-CEO of 3CG Records, along with his brothers Isaac and Zac Hanson. It was announced in early 2009 that Taylor has, together with former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha , Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos and Fountains Of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger , formed a new band called Tinted Windows . This new project will run alongside all the artists' main bands, one of these being Hanson. The band played their first publicized gig at SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 20. Their first album was released on April 21, 2009. [2][3]

Tinted Windows: Iha, Hanson, Carlos and Schlesinger

Taylor Hanson 2008

            I have not done a Hanson portrait in the last seven or so years but I have continued to follow their career in actually purchasing their music.   Their 2000 This Time Around release was considered by Rolling Stone to have not been as successful as it could have been if not for most of the Hanson fans downloaded their songs via Napster at the time.   Very few teen pop celebrities make it into adulthood and manage to keep their careers.   The Hanson brothers have managed to do what so many have dreamed and done so without the pit falls of fame.   It was recently pointed out that Rolling Stone has given The Jonas Brothers more coverage than the did Hanson and yet Hanson has done so much more including start their own record company.   Hanson is positive force in the world and they have an earthy yet ethereal beauty to them and I am glad that they are in the Universe.

            The brothers have grown up and have married and procreated. Taylor met his wife, Natalie Anne Bryant, after a performance in Atlanta, Georgia in August 2000, during Hanson's This Time Around Tour. They were introduced by one of the band's roadies. After dating for two years, 19-year-old Taylor and Natalie, then 18, were married on June 8, 2002 at the Ida Cason Chapel in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Natalie was already 4 1/2 months pregnant with their first child. [4] The couple has four children: Jordan Ezra (October 31, 2002), Penelope Anne (April 19, 2005), River Samuel (September 4, 2006), and Viggo Moriah (December 9, 2008). [5]

Taylor and family

In Pop Culture

In the Family Guy episode " A Fish out of Water ," Glen Quagmire reacts with horror when his friends inform him that, contrary to his longstanding assumption, Taylor Hanson is a guy.

In a season one episode of the WB series Gilmore Girls , Lorelai uses Taylor Hanson as a comparison to her daughter Rory's boyfriend Dean when Rory comes to her mother for advice on how to say 'I love you' to Dean.

Upon Hanson's rise to fame in 1997, Taylor Hanson briefly gained heartthrob status among boys who were under the initial impression that the singer was female. This confusion has been referred to in a number of parodies in popular media.


  1. •  ^ " Taylor Hanson Actor's Page ". imdb.com. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
  2. •  ^ Iha, Carlos, Hanson, Schlesinger Form Band
  3. •  ^ Tinted Windows to Release Debut Album April 21St
  4. •  ^ Hanson Official Web Site
  5. •  ^ Taylor Hanson and His Wife Welcome Baby Number 4 December 10, 2008
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