Wednesday, 19 November 2008

About the two artist's work

In Edward Hopper’s work and Todd Haynes’s work I found many similarities a common sense of loneliness, deception and similar uses of colour, Hopper ‘s work is simple but effective in terms of composition Haynes has a very good eye for detail. In Hopper’s work I am the one who creates a story influenced by why I see and feel in the painting but with Haynes I feel absorbed but his narrative doesn’t leave me to my imagination although makes me think of how ridiculous and absurd any kind of prejudice is and how appearance is not everything in achieving happiness.

Todd Haynes and his way to tell a story

Far from Heaven (2002)

I remember watching this movie few months ago and its content surprised me a lot. I’m not a very big fan of old movies but I couldn’t seem to find anything on TV and I started to watch it and surprisingly I ended up loving it. The movie is made in the style of many 1950’s films with a very careful choice of furnishing with a calm and pause camera moments using a technicolor palette. It has a very strong and sad storyline and is about a perfect marriage falling apart for sexual preferences. There is also another two major issues that the film tells that of racial differences and the prejudices of classes. A gay husband who denies his homosexuality and a friendship between a white woman and her black gardener are the main stories. As the film goes on we see how Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) discovers her husband with another man and how lately she finds comfort by forming a friendship with her black gardener and ends up in love although in the end no one lives happily ever after like Disney movies. The colour mood is mostly dark; he uses a lot the green colour green to depict the mysterious, the forbidden scenes and lots of reds oranges and yellows to show happy experiences. Haynes uses a lot of dark scenes to give a sense of tension in the movie. The music of Elmer Bernstein accompanies almost every scene. As an example of how to tell a story there is a scene when after a party Cathy sees the worry of her husband and tries to comfort him. We can see the moonlight through the window and then suddenly the music explodes when she receives a slap in her face. There is so few times when the main character is happy, one can recognise her mood because of her bright clothes, the music that accompanies the scene such as the scene when Cathy goes for a walk with her gardener.

I found the following video on you tube. At the end of the scene we can see the moment Cathy finds her husband kissing a man in his office.

Edward Hopper and his mysterious painting

His work reminds me the TV series Bewitched. His narrative makes me like I am a spy in his paintings; his work is descriptive almost like a snapshot or a movie scene. His palette of colour tends to be a mix of dark tones using pale ones for light. Pale yellows are very sad and contrast with the dark blue or greens which are used to describe furniture, carpets, clothes, etc. His characters usually seem to be lonely or buried in their own thought. Through my research I discovered he loves theatre and movies and he uses these as inspiration for his pieces. Most of his subjects shows moods like monotony, repetition, regret and usually are painted surrounded by everyday environments like a house, an office, a gas station or a cafeteria. One thing that caught my attention is that his main subject seems to be women mainly because when he was younger he grew up surrounded by women. (Mother, grandmother, sister, maid)
His painting ‘Room in New York’ is a perfect example of how he communicates emotions and let the viewer create a story. So as a result the viewer becomes a storyteller. There is a whole sense of loneliness and the colours are quite dramatic and combined with a simple technique, he achieves a successful composition. I look at the painting and I can feel the tension between the couple, they have grown apart, they don’t look at each other anymore. They seem like two strangers locked inside four walls. His use of light and how it depicts distance in his work is interesting. All the things and people in the painting seem to be far away and seem lost and the viewer is the witness.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A small introduction to storytelling

Since always I love stories; I admire the book cover and beautiful images inside it. My imagination will fly along with the story. Among my hobbies are films where I can abandon myself to the argument of the movie and feel glued to the seat, On occasions a visit to a museum or art gallery will left me thinking about a painting. We all know the numerous examples of drawings on the caves in the prehistoric times; these drawings tell stories of the culture and customs of that era. Every culture has its own stories and uses diverse materials and mediums to communicate it. We tend to transmit stories from generations. I still remember even vaguely lot of stories my grandmother told me about the dark and mystic tales in the highlands that she been told when she was a child. Or how my mother told me stories of her love life when she was just 14. she said that men use to lie their coats on the floor to cover a puddle so she could walk over without wetting her feet. I remember imagining the scene and thinking how amazing it was that, It still makes me dream of being there.
So storytelling helps us to enter in our own imaginary world the one we create when we hear a story. Is a magical way to makes us fly, dream, smile, fall sleep in the case of children.

The National Storytelling Network explains that:
Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.

  1. Storytelling is interactive.
  2. Storytelling uses words.
  3. Storytelling uses actions such as vocalization, physical movement and/or gesture.
  4. Storytelling presents a story.
  5. Storytelling encourages the active imagination of the listeners.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Stay In my memory by Bim

Few animations call my attention these days, this one is one of the most charming and beautiful work I've seen for a while!

"Stay In My Memory" by Bim from Gobblynne Animation on Vimeo.
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