Friday, November 21, 2008

Five

NASA and the Flood - N0 5

No 5 is nearing completion and I am on my way to a target of thirty NASA series paintings. When originally planning this series, I checked with my supplier of canvas stretchers to confirm the availability of continual supply - which was positive. But after starting No 5 I went to buy a few more and discovered that they had dropped the complete range and replaced all the stretchers with a new brand - which subsequently were of a different sizing. After much chasing and minimal complaining, my supplier has searched the country and discovered the other 24 that I need. So on with the show - at least I don't have to make the other 24 stretchers or worse yet, give up on my original plans.

I intend to exhibit these works as one large show - with a possible extra large version containing many figures and multiple colour schemes. Below is a little astronaut clinging to a mountain during a flood, he is somewhat pooped.

This next detail is the other astronaut surrounded by rings - life preservers or some sort of strange Metropolis like hula hoops. In the top picture you can see his feet - I think he is wearing flippers.



This is the Metropolis I am referring to - Fritz Lang's fantastic film.



The astronauts are both holding faded flowers from days gone by - the remnants of another time and another place - the last bastions of hope. The bigger non-astronaut figure in the boat is seemingly concerned about measuring the depth of the water - sort of like share market figures flashing on the screen really - who really controls the depth of the water?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Walken

Here is a few Youtube clips of American actor Christopher Walken.

The first one is from Julian Schnabel's film about Jean-Michael Basquiat - The Interview Scene - which I believe borrows heavily from an actual Basquiat interview. It's one of my favorite scenes from the film - due to Walkens edgy, searching interview style and Jeffrey Wright's stoned but sensitive portrayal of Basquait.




The next clip is from Woody Allen's film, "Annie Hall" - another favourite film of mine. Walken as per usual is mildly intense and marginally disturbed - he seems to be an actor that fits between characters, inhabiting a space, all of his own creating. Woody towards the end of the clip, finds himself being driven home by Walken and aptly conveys his misgivings and fear. A situation that most of us have found ourselves in at sometime, when left alone in a confined space with an unusual person.




When I was about twenty, a large rotundas man started following me in the streets of Brisbane. He was about 50 metres from me, and so I started to walk a bit quicker. At first I wasn't sure if he was pursuing me, but the closer he got the more I was certain that he had targeted me. I didn't run because part of me doubted that he was interested in me and so I tried to ignore him and not draw attention to myself.

But, he caught me and confronted me in the street outside St John's Church in the city. He whipped out a note pad and feverishly started to write me a note. Apparently, he was lost and needed someone to call a taxi for him, and wanted me to talk on the phone. He was deaf and dumb, afraid and rather frantic - he gestured to me to go into the phone booth - and he promptly followed, squeezing me in and blocking my exit. He began the frantic note writing again and I communicated back using the same note pad - eventually we made a successful phone call and caught our selves a taxi.

On parting I asked him why he ran for me, when there were so many other people on the street to pick on. He pointed to my chest and fingered out the words that were printed on my T-shirt. The black and white shirt had a bold Christian slogan, back and front, that stood out for miles. He apparently had decided that I could be trusted and would probably help - but conversely at one point when I was pinned in the phone booth, I felt a little like Woody - I learnt a little more that day.

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