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MacGuffin

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David Lynch - Artist
« on: October 28, 2003, 11:49:01 AM »
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David Lynch To Open Painting, Photo Exhibition in Poland

Warsaw (dpa) - While film buffs around the world are familiar with his work on the silver screen, fans of acclaimed U.S. filmmaker David Lynch will soon have a chance to see how he fairs as a painter and photographer.

Lynch is scheduled to open an exhibition of 30 photographs and 8 paintings November 30 in the central Polish city of Lodz, the Polish PAP news agency reported Tuesday. The exhibition will close January 25.

In the past, Lynch documented his declared affinity for the city - often called Poland's Manchester for its mix of 19th century industrial wealth and grime - with a collection of 600 photographs of its defunct industrial-era red brick factories and the palatial residences of their owners.

The maker of cinema and television classics such as "Blue Velvet", "Twin Peaks", "Eraserhead" and "Mulholland Drive", Lynch has also revealed plans to set-up an independent film studio in Lodz (pronounced WOOZH). The new studio - dubbed "HollyLodz" - would aim to become the centre of Poland's struggling film industry.

The Lynch exhibition will coincide with the prestigious 11th Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, running November 29th to December 6.

Organizers expect filmmakers Peter Weir, Margarethe Von Trotta and Jim Jarmusch to be among their guests.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2003, 12:22:50 PM »
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I've seen a lot of his painitngs, and I like them, but I must admit I like the titles even more.
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modage

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David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2003, 12:31:29 PM »
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this mutherfucker needs to quit all this bullshitting and get on his next movie!  straight up. 8)
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Ghostboy

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David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2003, 12:46:19 PM »
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Technically, he was a painter first and filmmaker second, so...he's not really bullshitting.

NEON MERCURY

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David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2003, 12:59:01 PM »
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does any one .have his book images...

TheVoiceOfNick

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David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2003, 02:55:08 PM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
this mutherfucker needs to quit all this bullshitting and get on his next movie!  straight up. 8)


I agree... i think the painting thing is just an ego trip for him... but he's gotta forget it all and make a movie... he can put his paintings in the movie if he wants!

horrorchick76

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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2004, 12:52:40 AM »
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This is sort of strange, My REAL fathers name was David Lynch. He was the one who gave me his artistic genetics. But he left when i was 3 months old. I have'nt heard from him since. Connection? (probably not)

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David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2004, 02:43:54 AM »
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This is why you're in a padded room.

MacGuffin

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Re: David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007, 11:37:59 AM »
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David Lynch Art Show in France - "The Air is on Fire"

Lynch will be having an art exhibit in France at the Foundation Cartier. In addition, Lynch will be putting out a new book of art which will contain 150 illustrations, 100 in color and will be 248 pages long. In addition, the book also contains several essays that analyze his artworks, as well as a conversation with Lynch, interviewed within the context of the show.

http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/new/spring07/597669.htm
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2007, 12:06:35 AM »
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A Moving Canvas
Source: New York Times



It's dark in David Lynch's world. You wish that Laura Dern had brought a flashlight for her role in "Inland Empire," his latest film, as she repeatedly ventures into blackness, her presence reduced to the rhythmic clicking of high heels on concrete. The experience is a familiar one to Lynch's fans of long standing, beginning in 1977 with "Eraserhead," his bizarre and haunting breakthrough featuring a mutant baby and shot in black and white (mostly black, a little white), continuing through "The Elephant Man," "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive": time and again, characters disappear into darkness; characters emerge from darkness into light. The shadows, with their implicit sense of menace, define the contours of a body or a face, carving out the hollows. Lynch paints with darkness the way other filmmakers slather on the sunbeams and fluorescent glare. The images unfold — breathtaking, perplexing — and we watch, in the grip of beauty and fear.

Lynch's movies are obsessive and intensely personal, and it will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen them that, in addition to being a director, he is also an artist. "The Air Is on Fire," on view from March 3 to June 3 at the Fondation Cartier, in Paris, brings together 47 years of his paintings, drawings, photographs and installations in a show that goes a long way toward deepening an acquaintance based primarily on his films. What is perhaps surprising is that still images are not for Lynch a means to an end as storyboards for some more elaborate production but a discipline all their own that he has quietly pursued over the course of his movie career. "Because," he explains, "painting is its own thing, infinitely deep, and when you get the opportunity to go in there, you take it."

Lynch paints in a studio floodlit by the Southern California sun — a small, open structure as serene and secluded as a treehouse, up a flight of stairs and a narrow path from his gray stucco office in the Hollywood Hills. Now 61, an age by which most renegades have mellowed, he comes across as no less iconoclastic than he's ever been but completely at peace with the world. His hair, the color of pewter, is no longer gelled to stand straight up in the manner of the "Eraserhead" protagonist; these days it falls across his forehead, as if it can finally relax. Born in Missoula, Mont., Lynch was raised all over the country: his father worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, and the family moved often. Although he went to high school in Alexandria, Va., he speaks with a voice inflected by the flat vowels of the Great Plains, as if the way people talked around his crib left an impression he has carried with him.

Lynch enjoys the solitude that drawing and painting require, he says; filmmaking, by contrast, is a group effort. The bigger the crew, the more difficult it becomes to get immersed and stay immersed in the atmosphere being created. "There are so many distractions," he laments. "You want to be as close as you can to the ideas, and the ideas tell you about the world and the mood. So you're in a world and it's a certain way, and you turn around and you see people in shorts with walkie-talkies — it's so jarring."

It's fitting that this survey of Lynch's work should take place in Paris. With it, the Fondation Cartier continues the tradition of staging unconventional, thought-provoking exhibitions in its home, a stunning building designed by Jean Nouvel. Lynch's films have been strewn with references to France, in evident admiration. The French, he says, are the No. 1 champions of art and artists: "They just love it, and they don't think twice about giving a director final cut — there's no question about it. It's common sense there." The catalog that accompanies the retrospective confirms that Lynch has never traded in his identity as a fine artist for Hollywood credentials. In fact, though his first film, a one-minute loop made as a student project for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts entitled "Six Men Getting Sick," is now available on DVD and regarded (with the benefit of hindsight) as a loud-and-clear announcement of his future as a director, it is nonetheless something you'd be more likely to come across at Deitch Projects in SoHo than at Sundance. Like his films, Lynch's work in still media is too disparate to sit comfortably in any existing category, much less the high-stakes art market. There are drawings on Post-its; drawings made with a Sharpie on 5 by 7 cards, intended to be photographed and enlarged; drawings on napkins from Bob's Big Boy, a Los Angeles chain Lynch used to frequent (his usual: a chocolate shake that came in a silver goblet and multiple coffees); drawings on matchbooks; potential designs for rugs; as well as largescale paintings, some incorporating the actual object being depicted, like a pair of trousers or a knife.

Lynch's art is clearly a product of the same brain that conceives his films, which many moviegoers find just plain weird. Still, no one turns out weird in more flavors. Scary Weird. Surreal Weird. American Weird. Weird With Mixed Nuts. Weird & Funny. Weird & Erotic. Weird & Whimsical. His "Fish Kit," complete with instructions for building your own fish, is based on kits for model airplanes: "If you successfully put the parts together," he explains, deadpan, "your fish will swim when you place it in water." A series of "Mechanical Women" from the 1960s, female bodies hybridized with metal rods and gears, has a characteristic sinister appeal. The defunct factories he photographed in New Jersey, Poland, Germany and elsewhere look like potential sets for a David Lynch movie.

Back in the days when he was an art student in Philadelphia, sharing a house with his friend and classmate Jack Fisk, Lynch used to paint all night, sleep till 5 p.m., then go for breakfast at the coffee shop next door before it closed at 6. Is he then one of those people whose natural rhythm is nocturnal, who prefers the day's underside and comes alive when the rest of the world is sleeping? "Well, I think if I was left alone, I might do that," he replies. "When you're painting, you know there are no rules really when you should go to work and when you quit. And getting tired is kind of an indication that you should go get some sleep. But if you're not tired, you can just keep on going, until finally when you do get tired, you might realize that your schedule is off." Lynch concedes that the kinds of thoughts that occur to an artist at night may be different from those that occur in broad daylight, and the work may be different as a result. A staff and a film crew now oblige him to observe the hours that accountants, bankers and bureaucrats keep, but resetting his creative clock has done little to align his thinking with the mainstream.

Though he'll talk about his work — reluctantly, choosing his words gingerly to prevent his imagination from being hemmed in by them — Lynch shies away from anything approaching analysis, preferring to leave that to others. O.K., so here goes. The guy who as a teenager was obsessed with Vincent Van Gogh, carrying around a copy of Robert Henri's 1923 "The Spirit of Art," aspiring to "the art life," as epitomized by Van Gogh, grows up and makes a movie called "Blue Velvet," which opens with the startling image of a severed human ear lying in a field somewhere in small-town America. Coincidence?

He'd rather talk about meditation. Whatever the question, Lynch veers into the benefits of transcendence and the unified field's rich trove of ideas just waiting to be mined. He started meditating himself in 1973, 20 minutes twice a day, and hasn't missed a day since, he says. In his book, "Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity," he exhorts young artists and filmmakers to dive deep inside themselves by means of meditation in order to facilitate their own process. For years, Lynch kept silent about his practice for fear that it would skew people's interpretations of his work. But recently, he has gone public about it and embarked on a crusade to convince others of its relevance, establishing in 2005 the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace to endow programs for teaching meditation in public schools.

If you're looking for themes that carry over from Lynch's films to his art, here's one: the beauty inherent in decay. While most of us flinch at the sight of a decomposing corpse, Lynch's work argues that it's the idea we find repugnant, not the image itself, and he repeatedly obliges us to scrutinize things that would otherwise compel us to turn away. He once made a painting that incorporated a piece of meat being devoured by maggots. "As soon as you put a name to something, a lot of times people get turned off: 'Oh, that's what that is,' and they don't want to know about it anymore," he explains. "You can see that they would be disturbed. But at the same time, if you don't know what it is you're looking at, you'd be surprised at how beautiful things are."

Among the works on view in Paris is his "Bee Board." Jack Nance, his friend and the star of "Eraserhead," had a night job at a hotel in the Valley, Lynch recalls. "He opened an unused room and found, he said, about 10,000 dead bees, and got me a Kleenex box filled with them." Lynch arranged them on a grid, in four rows of five, and then, he says, "I named my bees." Not some taxonomic classification, italicized, in Latin, but a name, like Steve or Bob, ordinarily bestowed on adorable male baby humans. The dead bees, he says matter-of-factly, "take on a different personality when they have a name."

Fisk, his art school friend, says that back in Philadelphia, Lynch met a guy who worked in the morgue and got him in there on occasion in the evenings the way a stadium ticket taker might sneak a friend into a basketball game. There is something bracing about Lynch's dispassionate curiosity, his willingness to stare death in the face, his ability to accept death as part of life rather than as the end of it. Lynch cites the three gunas — sattva, rajas and tamas — derived from Vedic teachings. "Evolution is like a staircase," he says, "that's the analogy. Sattva is building the next stair step, rajas is maintaining the stair that was already built, and tamas is destroying the stair that was previously used in the evolutionary direction. So there are all these things that are destroying things and there are other things that build things and there are other things that maintain. And it's just sort of all pretty interesting and beautiful."

Among the more benign manifestations of this principle as it applies to Lynch's work is a handful of black-and-white photographs that serve as the exhibition catalog's final chapter: images of snowmen in Boise, Idaho, stationed in front of small, suburban houses — several days old and melting in such a way that they are losing their shape until they look, Lynch says, "like aliens in everybody's yard." If you're looking for more themes that carry over from his films to his art, here's another one: his love for women. His films, his photographs, even some of his paintings are preoccupied with the erotic power that women wield over men, which Lynch explores but never seems to resent. It figures that this aspect of his work would be of great interest to his many avid fans, including those who subscribe to his Web site's (www.davidlynch.com) exclusive content at a cost of $9.97 a month and turn out for "Twin Peaks" conventions, where attendance, by all reports, is disproportionately male.

Sometime in the '90s, Lynch started a series of images for which he scanned photographs from a book called "1,000 Nudes," then, using Photoshop, distorted them almost but not quite beyond recognition. At first glance, there is something alarming about the results, as if Lynch had maimed the bodies, but on closer inspection they begin to take on the accumulated weight of an investigation: how much can you alter a woman's body, adding and subtracting limbs, rearranging its parts — and still it's a woman? The "Nudes and Smoke," which Lynch photographed himself, are pure, straightforward seduction, like boudoir portraits of Hollywood screen sirens, wearing nothing but dark lipstick and a veil of smoke from their cigarettes. More nudes: stark contrasts and shadows that isolate the few features that are illuminated. The women come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and Lynch celebrates them all. "A lot of the models are just people who said they would do it," he says. "And then that's what you have to work with. So every one of them, there's some angle, there's some light playing on there that's just beautiful — and pop goes the camera."

In interviews, Lynch has talked about the wisdom of nature and the "design" of a duck: how the feathers change from the neck to the body, the way the wings work, the placement of the eyes. Was nature so smart when it came to designing a woman? Lynch pauses, groping for superlatives. "The woman's body is, you know, it's probably the best design there is. And who knows how it works, but every part — it has to be this certain way. And everywhere it curves — the curves are in all the right places." But to be clear: there is nothing clinical about Lynch's interest. His explorations of female topography, in photographs and on film, are compelling and deeply erotic. He doesn't just record beauty; he finds it.

As for the fear the darkness brings, Lynch says it's on account of the unknown — specifically, moving forward into the unknown. Even when he's talking about his work, his remarks have the ring of philosophy, as if living and making art were one and the same.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2007, 11:40:10 AM »
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We’ve been Lynched
Cinematic genius, or obfuscating auteur? David Lynch is certainly a compulsive creator. On the eve of a new film and an art show, he chats to Rosie Millard, while Ryan Gilbey considers his weird science
Source: UK Times

David Lynch is sitting on a Perspex chair on the top floor of the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Giant floor-to-ceiling windows allow a peerless view of white Parisian rooftops, the Jardin du Lux- embourg and the towers of Montparnasse and Eiffel. A single cloud in a bright blue sky floats above the drapeau tricoloreflying on the gilded dome of Les Inval- ides. It is picture-postcard France, but then, in many ways, so is Lynch. In his customary style of formal white button- down shirt, black jacket and cigarette, Lynch, who is 61, could easily pass as a classic Frenchman. He certainly thrives here: French companies back his films, and the French public admires them. His latest, the three-hour Inland Empire, is on all over Paris, and people are queuing to see it. But then, the French have always loved an auteur.

“Oh, for sure,” says Lynch, “France is so good to me. So welcoming. They believe in the auteur. They fight for it.” On this basis, it’s understandable why the paintings, draw- ings and photographs he has been steadily creating for the past 40 years are to be put on show for the first time here in Paris, and not in his home town of Los Angeles. The story is that Hervé Chandăs, curator of the Fondation Cartier, went over to see Lynch and pulled out work Lynch had not seen for decades. He gave Chandăs free access to thousands of images, which, it appears, he created purely for the thrill of creating. “I did not do the work to be exhibited. You don’t. You just do it. Showing the work is not something I think about. You just find extreme enjoyment in doing it,” says Lynch, who studied fine art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. “It’s the same, even in film. I would rather not show my films, in a weird way.” He smiles. “But it was good to get stuff out of storage, to see old work, think about ideas that were started but not finished. Sometimes the past feeds the future, and it’s good.”

There is certainly a lot of food for thought at the show. It covers two floors: upstairs, huge frames support blue, orange and yellow curtains, a familiar Lynch leitmotif, on which hang giant pictures, some painted in heavy impasto. These depict frequently nightmarish action in a confident, primi- tive style: bodies fly out of storybook houses, skulls stride on long legs. One painting, of an agonised man, is captioned “This man was shot 0.9502 seconds ago”. His spirit, as well as his blood and guts, is flying out of his body.

Downstairs, Lynch fans will be busy ticking off more of the master’s signature motifs. A lyrical collection of colour nude photographs of women focuses on small elements of perfection — the curve of an eyebrow, the swell of a breast. There is nothing that makes a formal link to the coiffed teenage girls in his cult TV series Twin Peaks, or the strange beauty of his former fiancée, Isabella Rossellini, in Wild at Heart, but it is the same singular, artistic impetus behind both. “There are some things in the exhibition that specifically relate to Dune or The Elephant Man,” acknowledges Lynch, “some drawings that were ideas maybe for things in the films, but most of the work is not tied to the films.”

Drawings of dead insects, ephemera such as doodlings above phone numbers, or seemingly iconic phrases (“I Did Not Know the Gun Was Loaded”, or the show’s titular inspiration, “The Air Is on Fire”), lead to a wall of black- and-white photographs of industrial scenes: sewage pipes, shuttered door- ways, forbidding bridges, chance pieces of sugges- tive graffiti. Men- ace surrounds these as surely as it does the shadowy corridors down which Laura Dern runs screaming from one world to another in Inland Empire. “I think I am not alone in a fascination with a pull to the unknown,” says Lynch. “Transitions from one kind of reality to another. Doorways and curtains. Ingresses to different places.” People will not be able to resist putting some form of story to all this, I suggest. “Oh, many times a painting will start a narrative,” says Lynch. “People do it naturally. It’s the same in the cinema. The mind kicks in, the heart kicks in, intuition kicks in, and you are rolling. You come with interpretations. And conclusions.”

Interpretations and conclusions will be difficult to avoid with the Distorted Nudes series of pictures, where Lynch has digitally reworked 40 vintage erotic photographs to provide the sort of peepshow the Chapman brothers might be proud of. Amputees, heads within stomachs, people biting one another and multiple breast-growth are just some of the considerably creepy delights in this adults-only area of the exhibition. “Oh, I did that work a while ago,” says Lynch pleasantly. “That was my first experiment with Photoshop. It’s the greatest thing since Post Toasties.” Was he inspired by the likes of Dali, or maybe Francis Bacon? “No, no, I was just doing my own thing. Just taking photos and scanning them in and taking them apart,” he says. “The whole process is just a flow of ideas. That’s what it is all about.”

The idea — this has always been a fixation for Lynch, who was originally so fanatically driven to spend life as a painter that he secured himself a studio while still at high school. “I didn’t care about anything else — just painting.” It was apparently pure prag- matism that led him away from the canvas and towards the clapperboard. “I started getting green lights in the film world and falling in love with that medium. But it didn’t mean I fell out of love with painting. It’s just that this new thing came along. I’ve been painting all along. When I’ve had a chance to paint, I paint. I always say it’s about ideas. There are always ideas coming. Sometimes it’s painting and sometimes it’s film and sometimes it’s music.”

The show goes for all three: a Lynch soundtrack accompanies the paintings on the first floor, while in the basement, surrounded by the photographs and draw- ings, a small cinema will screen three of his short films. This is a man who has a finger in almost every artistic pie going. Does he still relish their differences? “There are big differences. Painting is its own thing, a special thing. It’s about so many different things, wordless things,” he enthuses. “There’s rules to it. The rules are not meant to be obeyed, but there are rules, and colours, and disturbances. All kinds of things going on. In film, there are a lot of those same rules, but way more. Way more, way more. There’s time. Like in music, you have time. Cinema brings all these art forms together, so it’s a bigger thing — in a way.”

Is Inland Empire, the new film, so long because he wanted it to become some kind of meditative painting? He laughs a lot at this sugges- tion. “No. A film wants to be a certain way. It doesn’t feel correct if it is shorter or longer. There is a way that it talks to you, and you follow that way. Though it is unfortunate it is so long, because the distributors get one less screening a day, which is a problem.”

He acknowledges, however, that the chance to shoot the movie himself (with a digital camera) gave him a greater sense of creativity, rather as if he were painting on canvas. “It gives you the opportunity to do things you couldn’t do if you had a focus puller and an operator and huge pieces of equipment. With a small digital camera, you have a feeling to move, or to drift. You are way more in there. Acting and reacting are real natural, and easy. As soon as the actors real- ise you have 40 minutes of uninterrupted time to sink in, andwe are sinking in there together, it’s beautiful.”

From pieces of cinema to doodles on Postit notes, via musical compositions, to photography, drawingand painting, this show willreveal, more than any onebig, dark, artistic secret,that Lynch is a compulsivecreator. He cannot helptransferring ideas that whirr around his head onto whatever medium he calls upon, be it paper, canvas, celluloid or computer pro- grammes. He acknowledges this, but generously so. “None of us stops creating. The thing that stops us is money. And equipment. You get an idea for a certain thing and you go work on it. That’s all it takes. You betcha.”

The Air Is on Fire is at the Fondation Cartier, Paris, from March 3 to May 27; Inland Empire is released on March 9

His dark material

In the second half of the 1980s, the film Blue Velvet and the television series Twin Peaks altered popular culture, narrative technique, American iconography — and the minds of audiences all over the world. So indelible was the impression they left that their influence now seems to function retrospectively: it’s hard to look at work that preceded them, such as the films of Frank Capra, without viewing it through the vision of warped small-town America presented by their creator, David Lynch, a quizzical surrealist described by one producer as “Jimmy Stewart from Mars”. Only now are we seeing clearly the effect Lynch has had on our visual culture. Without Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, there would now be gaping holes in modern cinema — no American Beauty, Donnie Darko, Happiness or Barton Fink, to name but a handful. The television schedules would be threadbare, too. You could kiss goodbye to Lost, The X Files, Desperate Housewives and Six Feet Under, for starters.

The dazzling opening montage of Blue Velvet shows red roses reaching toward blue skies in front of white picket fences, a man waving cheerfully from a passing fire engine and a line of contented schoolchildren trundling across a sun-dappled road. Then the camera burrows beneath the surface of one of the impeccably manicured lawns in this perfect neighbourhood, where it comes nose-to-nose with an orgy of gnashing, chomping, glistening creepy-crawlies. This discovery doesn’t disrupt the calm façade: life carries on as normal, no matter how repugnant society’s underbelly is shown to be — and with Dennis Hopper, in his career comeback, as a psychopath who abuses Isabella Rossellini while goody two-shoes Kyle MacLachlan (better known now for roles in Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City) watches from inside her closet, that’s pretty damn repugnant.

Similarly, the folksy town of Twin Peaks, where the corpse of the homecoming queen Laura Palmer is discovered, proceeds in its folksy rituals even as the FBI investigation heats up. Each spellbinding instalment uncovered new evidence in the hunt for the killer, though Agatha Christie would hardly have approved — Special Agent Dale Cooper (MacLachlan again) experienced many of his breakthroughs in coded dreams, while the proliferation of doughnuts and “damn fine coffee” mattered as much to fans as who killed Laura Palmer.

This tightrope walk between good and evil, banal and bizarre, may be the closest thing to araison d’ętreyou’ll find in Lynch’s films. In both Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, he completes his expedition into the unsavoury unknown without disturbing the surface of normality or leaving behind any footprints. “I’ve always liked both sides,” he has said, “and believe that to appreciate one, you have to know the other — the more darkness you can gather up, the more light you can see, too.”

His films since the commercial and creative peak of Blue Velvet, with the exception of the gentle road movie The Straight Story (1999), have only got weirder. There was the Palme d’Or-winning Wild at Heart (1990), which can be credited with inventing Nicolas Cage’s persona; the punishing 1992 Twin Peaks prequel, Fire Walk

With Me, which was booed at Cannes; Lost Highway (1997), in which a man awaiting trial for murder simply metamorphoses into someone else in his cell; and the heady Mulholland Dr (2001), about an amnesiac and a would-be actress whose identities blur in a haunted Hollywood.

However, the new Inland Empire is arguably his most inscrutable film yet. It feels as though the bare bones of the plot — about a movie star (Laura Dern) who merges with her latest role, and with her Polish predecessor, who was murdered while playing it — are being offered to us as a mere formality. What Lynch is really interested in is stranding us in a hostile dreamscape where we can never be sure who the characters are, let alone what they’re doing. Why does it keep cutting to an eerie suburban living room in which three people with rabbit heads have their every utterance greeted with canned laughter? Where did that chorus line of prostitutes come from? Can someone pass me an aspirin?

Lynch’s films have usually provided cosmetic comforts for anyone left foxed by the Möbius-strip narratives or outraged by the displays of depravity. Blue Velvet, for instance, filtered its images of perversity and degradation through an operatic sensibility — it may have been sick, but it looked gorgeous, and thanks to the lushness of the score by Angelo Badalamenti, the ears could be soothed even when the eyes were screwed shut in terror.

With Inland Empire, Lynch has withdrawn even those compensatory pleasures. The movie, shot on fuzzy digital video, is deliberately ugly; if you expunged all the tracking shots along dank passageways and corridors, which play like excerpts from a dimly lit computer game, it would shave half an hour off the running time. And Badalamenti has been relieved of his duties, too. In fact, the sole consolation we can derive from the visual and verbal non sequiturs, and the disjointed editing, is that only one director could have made this film — a few minutes in, and you know you’ve been Lynched.

Yet while Inland Empire may not be a pretty picture, I think that’s partly the point. Without our usual cinematic comforts to buffer any bewilderment, we are forced more than ever to confront the stark horrors of Lynch’s imagination, and to work to assemble the pieces of the film’s jigsaw puzzle in our own mind. Dissenters may carp that Lynch “doesn’t give answers”, but it is precisely his insistence on our intellectual and emotional participation that makes his films so fiercely prized.

Anyone imagining that Lynch would mellow with age will be startled to find that the morbid mystery tour of Inland Empire represents his most experimental w o r k since 1977’s Eraserhead. That haunting cult hit, much admired by Stanley Kubrick, was completed over five years using cash from the various part-time jobs Lynch racked up after graduating from art school. In it, the elements that would become known as “Lynchian” were already in evidence. It show-cased his knack for rooting around in the collective subconscious and dredging up unspeakable images, like a police frogman dragging a lake for morbid trophies. I remember seeing the film for the first time and feeling chilled to the bone that someone had managed to replicate on screen the exact textures and rhythms of my nightmares. How best to describe that ground-breaking movie? A man with an outrageous pompadour, who lives in an industrial hellhole, is left to care for his mewing, limbless, duck-like baby and ends up slaughtering the infant and finding true love with a puff-cheeked woman living in his central heating. A simple tale, then, of boy meets girl-behind-the-radiator.

In the past, journalists have made the mistake of asking him to explain what’s going on, perhaps not realising that he reacts to such inquiries like a lactose-intolerant man being chased by a giant wheel of edam. An interviewer once asked what Lost Highway was about. “It’s about 120 minutes,” Lynch deadpanned. And given the myriad interpretations available, the interviewer continued, what would be a bad way to emerge from the cinema? “On a gurney,” came the reply.

There’s a serious point behind Lynch’s tendency to duck questions, however. His films, like any examples of undiluted surrealism, obey only the logic of dreams. To impose rational explanations on them would be as futile as attempting to dig a hole with a length of spaghetti. Better by far to surrender wholesale to a film such as Inland Empire and let it lead you where you thought you didn’t want to go. Dream on.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2007, 12:21:11 PM »
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From camera to canvas: David Lynch art show opens in Paris

Filmmaker and master of enigma David Lynch on Thursday unveiled half a century of his little-known work as a painter, draftsman and photographer, in a major new exhibition in Paris.

From giant mixed-medium canvases to tiny landscapes painted on matchboxes, photographs, sketches and countless doodles, the show -- which opens Saturday at Paris' Cartier Foundation -- reaches back to the US director's teenaged years.

As in most of Lynch's films, from "Eraserhead" in 1977 to last year's "Inland Empire", sex, violence and unconscious desires loom large in his art, displayed against a haunting backdrop of industrial-sounding music which Lynch co-designed for the show.

The 61-year-old artist, who left each piece deliberately without name or date, dodged requests for clues to his dark and puzzling universe at a press conference at the foundation Thursday.

"What you see is what you get," he quipped. "The works are there, they speak for themselves... But so much of it is a wordless thing. The viewer stands in front of an image, and a magic circle starts happening."

Helene Kelmachter, one of the curators of the show called "The Air Is On Fire", described it as "a journey through a labyrinth -- you fall from one world to the next without knowing where it will take you next."

"But in the end it's another jump into David Lynch's slightly strange and worrying world."

Lynch says the idea for the exhibition -- which runs until May 27 -- came from the Cartier Foundation, whose chief curator Herve Chandes travelled to his home in Los Angeles half a dozen times to select works for the show.

The centrepiece is a collection of giant canvases in paint, latex, wood and hair -- many with crudely-sculpted human figures, masks and sex organs incrusted onto their surface.

One of the few figurative works shows a deformed woman, her knickers half-ripped off, pressing a gun to her naked stomach and a telephone receiver to her head, under the words: "Well... I can dream can't I?"

Several describe the wanderings of a figure called "Bob" -- the name of a recurring character in Lynch's cult TV series "Twin Peaks" -- through a series of post-apocalyptic landscapes.

"This is a different Bob," Lynch quipped. "I like the name Bob. Something about the sound of the name, and the shape of this particular Bob got me going.

"Bob is a person who is experiencing different things in the world -- I like Bob very much, and I guess I kind of identify with Bob."

Downstairs, the walls are plastered with hundreds of tiny scribbled notes, doodles, and sketches -- on everything from napkins to matchboxes -- spanning decades of Lynch's life, and on display for the first time.

"I like to save these things because they feel good to me, because they can spark something for the future. You do little marks on paper and things start to happen," Lynch said.

Next door, the artist has turned one of his sketches into a full-scale film set, complete with kitsch zebra-striped sofas, and red-and-black polka dot carpeting.

Meanwhile, in a screening room modelled on a scene from "Eraserhead", there are rolling projections of his first three experimental short films: "Six Men getting Sick" (1967), "The Alphabet" (1968) and "The Grandmother" (1970).

Among his most recent works on display, a 2004 collection of digital photo montages called "Distorted Nudes" uses erotic photographs from 1840 to 1940, clipped and reassembled into mutant, highly-sexualised bodies.

Other, more conventional photos show voluptuous nudes with red-painted lips, or black-and-white graffitied industrial landscapes, criss-crossed by barbed wire and factory pipes.

Elsewhere, small black-and-white watercolours full of jolted imagery, forlorn, windswept houses and scratched half-sentences suggest madness and disconnection.

For Lynch, who studied fine art at college in 1960s before branching into film, his work is something to lose oneself in, not puzzle over.

"People understand the abstractions more than they give themselves credit for," he said. "Some people love falling into the world of abstractions and feel so good being lost for a time... Others find it very frustrating."

But don't be fooled by the stark, haunted images: Lynch insisted he was a "very happy" man, saying 33 years of transcendental meditation had given him access to "the beautiful unbounded ocean of pure consciousness, beautiful, easy, effortless."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Ghostboy

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Re: David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2007, 12:51:30 PM »
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I'm hoping to go to that next month.

MacGuffin

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Re: David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2007, 11:37:50 PM »
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Featurette with Lynch talking about The Air Is On Fire:

“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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gob

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Re: David Lynch - Artist
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2007, 01:30:17 AM »
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Cool. I definitely have to go at some point. I've kinda turned into a Lynch fanboy at the moment.

 

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