Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jorge Pantoja's Cinematheque

Here is a system of images which I term my perception of the universe, and which may be entirely altered by a very slight change in a certain privileged image—my body. This image occupies the center: by it all the others are conditioned; at each of its movements everything changes, as though by a turn of a kaleidoscope.-- Henri Bergson.

Alfredo Triff

Why are the images of film so powerful?

If we are our memories and movies are the "memories" of our culture, it's only natural to infer that we are those "memories" as well. Memory cuts across a landscape opening up a volume that envelops every perspective around certain "intense" points, this accumulation of planes as a function of the place where they superimpose themselves upon one another. An endless sequence of appropriation, negotiation and propagation of  images. We dream in movies.1

Did you ever feel being Danny Torrance, frantically pedaling your tricycle through a long, spooky hallway, looking back, running away from Room 217? That's the idea behind Jorge Pantoja's "Cinematheque," a show of colored drawings, at Carol Jazaar Contemporary Art.

D.J., 2009. from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, 1980.
Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

Pantoja's color/drawings play the part of wordless "posters." So, you get access to a collection of showbills these movies never had.2 Even if some images are well-known, like the one above, they are reinterpreted within new color schemes, which redefine mood and meaning.

Collateral, 2009. From Robert Altman's Three Women, 1977.
Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

In the drawing above, the artist achieves depth by a combination of shape/superimposition and color/contiguity. The cobalt blue of the dining table is repeated in the place-mat next to the fridge and the window, and so are the white of the back of the arm-chair and the kitchen-counter, the orange of the wall and the figure's collar, the brown of the blinds and the wooden chair. Finally, the red of the rosette wall-decoration, the hanging plant's flower and the kitchen drawer's knob.2(Can you find out one more example?)

Pantoja's simplicity of design and flatness of color brings to mind the Matisse from 1911-1914. Matisse abolished depth, still-life objects got reduced to a few isolated patches, hardly more than signs.

Henri Matisse's A Sitting Rifain, 1913.

Matisse is not alone in seeking this sort of simplicity. He definitely got some ideas from the graphic art of late-Nineteenth Century:

Left: Lautrec's Reine de joie, 1892. Right: The Beggerstaffs' A Trip to Chinatown, 1899.

I bring up Matisse because the French painter moved ambivalently between 1911-1914 from two opposing moments: one, ornamental and decorative; the other, minimal and geometric.

Left: View of Notre-Dame, oil on canvas (1914). Right: Interior in Aubergines, guache on canvas (1911-12).

Similarly, if you are into picking color moods, Pantoja moves from proto-Expressionist,

Fortress, 2009. From David Lynch's Inland Empire (2006)
Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

to proto-Pop,

Marlowe, 2009. From Robert Altman's The Long Good Bye (1973).
Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

Uncle 29, 2009. From Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker, 1964.
Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

 to something in between:

Perfectionist, 2009. From Jean Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï, 1967.
Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

Pantoja and Matisse apply color with a sort of "pencil-coloring" technique, which brings forth an overall shimmering quality. It serves each artist differently.

Left: Three Little Pigs 2009. From Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, 1980.
 Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches. Right: Henri Matisse's Yellow Curtain, 1914.

Critics talk about Matisse's joie de vivre and his depiction of Mediterranean light. Pantoja is obviously a creature of the night.

Wishing You Were There, 2009. From Ariane Mnouchkine's Molière, 1978.
Graphite, colored pencil, ink pastel and acrylic on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

Coming back to images inside images: Is the picture, above, in Mnouchkine's 1978 movie Molière? Well, yes and no. Affirmative, in that ultimately, that's the image/source; negative in that no image can ever be repeated and be the same image. Which brings me to the fact that Pantoja's agoraphobic drawings exhibit a cannibalized maneuver of mediation. His "posters" filter the old narrative through a presence that turns process upside down, that is to say, the drawing of a movie whose frame -most likely- started with a drawing. I imagine a strong film of the 1970's that deserves a drawing by Pantoja: Chantal Akermann's 1975, Jeanne Dielman.

In parenthesis, did Matisse like movies?

1Even bad movies, which are the majority. I borrow the idea of "apparent memory," one which can be had without any experience/content. Cinema mixes music, image and motion, plus sheer size into a cathartic Gesamtkunstwerk 2 Being the 1970's, some of these movies' original posters are relatively obscure. By this time, the movie poster had lost its communicative edge to TV. This is Warner Brothers' poster for The Shining:

CICC's poster for Le Samouraï:

United Artists' poster for The Long GoodBye:

With the exception of the latter, they're all photo-based. Very different from the graphic quality and labor of the posters of Hollywood's golden era of the 1930's-1950's. 3In almost all of Pantoja's drawings for Cinematheque the subject appears in the middle of the frame, which brings to mind that "centering" is a characteristic of traditional cinema (the camera is placed to provide the viewer with the "optimum vantage point" for viewing the scene's action). Pantoja's camera's presence makes us aware that the image is a construct of a construct, that is, as if a scrutinized movie still.


Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

Very interesting.

Nina said...

It was a very nice show. I'm glad you bring the connection w. Mattise. It makes you go and see these movies.

Anonymous said...

I find it fascinating that one image/design for a film can be more thought provoking and resound in our minds more so than the actual film it is meant to promote. For example, I remember the knowing and loving the black and white image of Al Pacino for “Scarface” years before I had even seen the movie. There was such clever, minimalistic use of negative and positive space and it really created a mood, whether you have seen the movie or not. There are also plenty of really well designed posters for movies that just didn’t live up to the image portrayed. I love the above image- Uncle 29, 2009 from Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker. Not only does it make me want to watch the film, but I also feel as though I have already seen. It is a great example of images that are so powerful they speak for themselves. Someone can look at an image like that and imagine their own storyline for it.

Anonymous said...

Nasha Wallin

RI said...

Love Pantoja's work.

Gloria A. Lastres said...

I'm sure we've all at some time or another viewed something and thought hmmm...I can do better. And Jorge Pantoja has done better than the established film covers aimed at enticing viewers to watch, & maybe later buy movies. My husband’s movie collection is pretty extensive. Like a child, the Dvd cover initially lures him in but a few minutes in, it's the movie that matters, & the movie cover is relegated to background.

Pantoja's artistic images represent the strong residual feelings he had for his favorite movies, and in sharing those feelings with the public we’re able to experience a transference of those same emotions, re-connecting with the films we enjoyed and piquing our curiosity about films we wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity of seeing.

His use of the color palette is classic, using about 8 different matte colors much like the box of Crayolas a kindergartner would use, and it is this simple yet stark use of color that imprints within one’s mind. I see a little of Romero Britto’s style in their childlike use of stark colors. One major difference between Britto’s and Pantoja’s style is Britto is about lightness whereas Pantoja is clearly “a creature of the night”.

Gloria A. Lastres said...

Oops, forgot to sign. the above is by Gloria Lastres.

A.T. said...

Thanks, Gloria.

jorell said...

I hate to say it, but I was thoroughly unimpressed by these illustrations. There is nothing in them that interests me at all. The idea of color contiguity is solely an emergent property of the restricted color palettes. This is like stating there is a wonderful repetition of colors on a McDonald’s bag that uses a three-color palette. Making images of movie scenes has limited appeal. Theses images do not stand on their own; they are dependant on the films from which these scenes are invoked. If you have not seen these films, these illustrations lose their context. The scenes are not particularly good either. The thin detailed edges filled with the flat two-dimensional positive spaces have a sophomoric quality that quite frankly make me want to look for something more interesting to observe.

A.T. said...

Thanks, Jorell. By the way you don't have to agree with me, as long as you justify your point, as you did.

Sarah said...

I think Jorge Pantoja’s paintings are quite intriguing because of his vibrant use of various colors and textures. I enjoy staring at his painting and trying to figure out the movie they represent. Although, some viewers may find his images simple, child-like or boring, I find them to be rather inventive and inspiring.

The artist’s use of color and texture creates a great sense of movement in his paintings. One thing I enjoy about Pantoja’s work is that it’s not a normal movie poster that we are used to seeing; it’s an actual painting.

I can understand why the artist is compared to Matisse. His use of vibrant colors and textures mimics that of Matisse. Pantoja creates an abstract, yet life-like quality to his paintings because of the well-thought out striking colors and textures.

I think Pantoja’s paintings are incredibly powerful because of the intense, expressive quality to them. Most of his painting has a sense of creepiness as well. Although, the posters do not have any words, they still create a story. For instance in the poster the “Three Little Pigs, 2009, I am intrigued and freaked out by the man holding the ax. The poster gives a creepy feeling to the viewer and also creates a sense of wonderment about the story being portrayed in the poster.

Overall I like Pantoja’s style, because I like his use of vibrant colors and textures. I think he is a powerful artist because of these qualities.

Sarah Gruhn
ARH 346

daynzzz said...

I was inspired to watch a scary movie this weekend and decided to watch The Shining. Although the image you presented was easily recognizable, I agree that when taken out of context for someone who has never seen the movie, the painting is not appreciated for what it depicts. I also felt that a huge part of the eeriness of the film stemmed from the music, which is art in itself. This image lacks in giving off any kind of feeling I associate with the movie. Maybe it's the colors or simple shapes that give it a "sophomoric" feel as jorell put it. I'd have to agree that on this one, I was left looking for something more because these images did not excite me.

|Dayna M. Bieber

silentmonk said...

When i look at the exhibition of jorge pantoja "cinemateque" a collection of drawing in color pencil by the artist of still of movies chosen by the artist. His work using the fauvist colors of matisse for the many of the work but especially for the "D.J" where the young danny torrence is running away on his tricycle, while scrolling down while looking at this still,and comparing it to the actual movie poster. the actual movie poster has jack nicholson, looking through the door hole , with a crazy eyed look. This is a horrendous poster, because poster should bring in curiosity from the viewer, which the drawing by jorge of danny is only missing the text but it has more sense of suspense and mystery that actual poster is missing, the actual poster is more of a spoiler of the movie than of wonderment unto how the movie will progress while this family spends their night in a hotel on vacation.Poster now days are too in your face, is it because of the current world where we are bombarded with advertisement? That simple poster such as those like toulouse lautrec during the early 1900's are old fashioned? In my own personal opinion i would choose a lautrec poster over many of those of today, because he was great draftsman and knew how to lay a composition that would help the overall design in the end.

carlos franco

Juliana said...

Honestly, both artists never really impressed me but I do have to say that the poster illustrations are way more powerful in form of expression than the paintings. The movie posters are centered, less color, minimalistic but more mysterious. It creates a story but not much, just enough to generate curiosity, what happens next? In my opinion, this is about seventy percent of how a movie is sold, through the poster illustration. Fifty percent of the people already go to the movies knowing what they want to see, either reaching the movie online or word of mouth, and what do you see online? The movie poster, oh yes, and the trailer… However, there are those twenty percent of people that go to the movies and have no idea, just pick one on the spot. They are completely sold and convinced by the poster. Agreed? Overall, this is a very important marketing aspect for movie producer and ultimately sells the movie.
-Juliana Aragao

Anonymous said...

As a photographer and designer I have to say that I usually never center things. I don’t agree that the optimum vantage point is in the middle. I guess I havn’t seen enough movies to understand how ‘centering’ things is a traditional cinema quality. I prefer things being of center, but with balance. And I feel that each time period has its own unique artistic styles, which is why I slightly disagree that movie posters now are lesser then those of the ‘Golden Age.’ Now that we have all these design programs on the computer, we have developed a different form of art that people put a lot of labor into. I like the simplicity to the movie posters like The Shining and the other ones posted. It reminds me of the Matisse’s minimalistic designs.

-Rachel Steinhauser

P.S.- I really like the quote you used at the start of the post- as a photographer I totally know what he is saying!

Anonymous said...

Oh and I also LOVE that Hot Chip video you posted. I saw them about two years ago in Philly.

barnez said...

I enjoyed the samples of Pantoja's work you share - the palette, shapes, 'Matisseness' - but for me they don't capture the essence of the films to which they correlate. Pantoja's "Shining" has a sweetness to it, but the Warner Bros. poster conveys the film's emotions - terror, surprise, lunacy, the fragile protection of a closed door. Pantoja's image is more subtle, the commercial poster's approach is more overt.
For me, the greatest movie posters of all time come from Saul Bass - for instance his poster for Vertigo(1958). The spiral distills a central theme of falling, while also creating a strong graphic image. When I checked Bass's work on Wikipedia, much to my surprise I discovered that he had also made a poster for "The Shining" - and even there I would would say that the Warner Bros. is more effective because it confronts us with what we fear: in those eyes we see the insanity - staring, close, out to get us, out of control.


A.T. said...

Saul Bass, what an artist!

AlliHeathe said...

To be completely honest, I’ve never seen any of the movies aforementioned. However, I do believe that Pantoja’s work does seem to demonstrate an “in the moment” type of action feeling from each movie. In addition, his use of bright, extreme colors brings a fanciful mood that quickly catches one’s eye. The repetitive centering in all the images you provided is also something interesting to discuss. In Pantoja’s work, I feel like centering is necessary because it puts the viewer in the center of the action.

However, in the movie posters, the centering just makes the poster look cheap, basic, and boring. I absolutely hate when designers use a boring headshot of the main actor or artist on a poster or CD cover and call it art. It just shocks me that people actually get paid to put simple text on a headshot that they, many times, did not even take. I feel like the third poster did have potential, however, if the artist had added more detail to the illustrated image, perhaps adding an elaborate background, or maybe even if they had moved it into a more interesting position.

I wish that more modern posters would revert to the more artistic style you referred to of earlier times. If designers took a cue from Pantoja’s work, I think posters would have more of a role in influencing the modern moviegoer’s choice for their night out.

Allison Brown

cbfelder said...

Upon seeing Pantoja's work i was immediately reminded of the Polish movie posters of the 60's, 70's and 80's in that both styles use unorthodox approaches to convey the idea of the film to the viewer.
I believe Pantoja succeeds in being able to tap into the memories we have of the films and allow us to "fill in the blanks" in terms of relating the image to the context of the particular film.
Where I believe Pantoja falls short is in creating a truly "stand-alone" piece of art, by which i mean his art requires the viewer to have already seen the film, for the full effect to be reached. In contrast, polish movie posters, in particular the "Shining" poster done by Leszek Zebrowski, conveys the themes of horror and terror with such a grotesque efficiency that one instantly feels them. He achieves this by channeling the theme through every part of the pieces' creation. From the frenzied, unsettling line work to the grotesque modeling and dreary color palette.
In my opinion, the approach of Pantoja's "Three Little Pigs" in terms of line work, color palette and composition are at best, ironical in that they offer no reference to the mood/theme of the film itself, thus relying on the viewer's memory of the movie to convey them.

pedroiscool said...

For me the most interesting aspects are the (seemingly) incoherent uses of color. When I think of The Shining I think of stark lighting with harsh shadows not of bright colors that seem almost playful.

These colors seem to portray an almost adolescent sense of imagery and attitude. But the awkward glances and use of shadow (even if it is a relatively bright blue) change the innocent scenery into something slightly off; the painting displays something that could almost make it sinister (as seen in the poster for Collateral) and disturbingly erie (the poster of D.J. for The Shinning).

To me personally, that is the success of these posters - that they are not all sunshine and daisies; there is something more if you look closely enough.

-Pedro R.

Ping said...

What makes a good poster? It is something eye-catching that makes people want to stop and read and take action—to participate. The clarity of design, the color usage, and the readability/typography are the elements that help convey ideas clearly and contribute to a good poster.

In artist Jorge Pantoja’s exhibition/collection, I see images from everyday life, not movie posters. For example, his poster of the movie The Shining reminds me of childhood. The vivid color, red and yellow, and the scratchy texture appear look less like terror to me and more like fun, childlike drawings. The little boy, Danny Torrance, looking over his shoulder does look somewhat ominous, but it is not clear whether he is in danger or whether he is the one who has done something bad and is trying to get away with it.

Without words it is hard to “read” a poster. Words not only communicate information to the viewer, but also collaborate graphically with the images to help attract attention. I experimented with the poster A Trip to Chinatown by Beggarstaff. I eliminated the type on the poster, and that one change immediately changes my perception of the poster.
Sample 1

I also arranged some of Jorge Pantoja’s collection simultaneously; to me they work better as a series of drawings rather than posters. I even find it difficult to identify the particular genre of film these posters are meant to represent.
Sample 2

There are some posters I would like to share as effective examples of movie posters:
Sample 3

A single image/illustration/painting without typography is not adequate for promoting the movie/film.

Sau Ping Choi

Sam said...

As with some of the comments posted previously I have mixed feelings towards the movie posters that have been reinterpreted. I consider myself quite a movie buff but apparently my knowledge is somewhat limited as out of all these films i have only seen the shining. Interestingly i think thats the painting i most engage with precisely because i remember that scene of the film so vividly. I think that if i had seen some of the other films i might too engage with the other paintings. I am very much drawn in by movie posters and tend to collect ones that particularly catch my eye. The poster that you showed of Le Samourai immediately caught my attention and I am now on a mission to find a copy of the film. That is the power of a movie poster, to intrigue a potential movie goer enough for them to actually buy a ticket.
Oh and I also watched Crumb after your description. An extremely interesting and disturbing film that I find myself pondering in quiet moments.

Sam Martin ARH346

Rafaella Medeiros said...

An attractive and original movie poster is essential for advertising; the poster is responsible for generating curiosity yet it does not give too much away as does a trailer. If the poster is not interesting, why bother even watching the trailer? Just like a book, many of us judge a book by its cover. If the cover is just plain and boring, most likely you won’t open it or read the preface. It is not enough to rely on a famous celebrity in the movie, or think the producer’s talent is enough to neglect making an intriguing poster. I loved the poster of Le Samourai, it is simple yet very intense. It is frightening and generates a lot of mystery, makes you think… if this poster is so powerful, imagine the movie! I gotta see that!
In Pantoja’s work he depicts childlike images of everyday life. His works are so bright and vivid; the image of Danny Torrance looking back and running away is very relatable. What kid has not done something wrong, like draw on the wall with markers, and run away in fear of the parents? His posters do not need subtitles; the colors are enough to depict the mood of the scene. For instance, the poster from Aiane Mnouchkine's Molière, the colors, the gaze of the lonesome woman, and her hands caressing her face, are enough to indicate the woman is daydreaming about a man and wishing he was there with her. Well, Pantoja’s posters are definitely not typical posters you see at the movie theater line. But... if such was to be presented I think it would get a lot of attention!
-Rafaella M.... arh 346

Lisa said...

I look at Pantoja’s works here and I see “fan-art.” Fan-art can’t be fully appreciated unless the viewer understands what the art is referring to; and I can’t really appreciate these pieces for what they are because I haven’t seen the accompanying movies. But I can value them as paying homage to other works and presenting those works in a new design. Other than that, they’re not that appealing to me.

Is Pantoja’s main audience the people who know what movies he’s referring to? Or is his audience supposed to be everyone? I see how reworking famous scenes into flat, brightly colored, simplified screenshots can create a mysterious quality to the image and attract interest in the movie, but that interest is mainly attached to the feelings that people can recall from watching that particular scene. I see these images and I’m not interested in seeing the movie at all, these images don’t pull me in. As posters, I don’t think they work very well at attracting viewers because the images by themselves aren’t particularly special.

The coolest posters I’ve seen (with what little exposure I have in the realm of movies) are for Metropolis, Hard Candy and Rocketeer; and the posters you put up for La Samurai and The Long Goodbye are good too. Those posters are very striking and grab my attention without being too busy. All of Pantoja’s stuff just doesn’t attract my eyes for very long and that’s the problem.

Lisa Joseph ARH346

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed viewing Patoja’s representations of well-known films— his vibrant use of color and clean, almost bare style caught my eye (I particularly liked the color choices in his depictions of Ariane Mnouchkine's Molière and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining). While his work is well-done, I felt Pantoja took the essence of each movie scene, ran with it in terms of color, shapes, etc. and created his own unique expression of these films. The images of each scene are on paper, but the feel is entirely different from the feeling that I got from watching some of these films. For instance, while the poster for The Shining is by all accounts an unappealing design to view with its bland colors and unpleasant font, it still captures the spirit of the movie far better than does Pantoja’s representation. When I view the Warner Bros. poster, it reminds me of the chilling character that Jack Nicholson portrayed, and when I view Pantoja’s paintings, a brighter, fresher feeling is evoked quite unrelated to that of the movie. It’s a completely new way to view the film, through Pantoja’s lens.

Kendra Zdravkovic

Betsy said...

I found this Pantoja post very interesting. Of personal interest to me, I have studied several of these films (whose posters you've displayed) in several recent film classes I took in Colorado: trilogies, horror, cinema of the 70's, etc). From reading through the other comments, I wonder if my knowledge of these films is the only thing that makes me like his work. I think perhaps also, as an artist, I am intrigued by the simplicity. Simple artwork is not something I have mastered myself, and I am always inspired by looking at work from artists who are masters of the simple shapes. I especially like artwork where shadows have been blocked in, simple in style, yet detailed in shape and contour. I think this type of shadow work makes for the most impact: an image that gets stamped in my mind.

On a slightly different note: I like being exposed to art made from art, one artist's interpretation of another artist's interpretation of life or whatever, ha! This kind of critique is sometimes more powerful than words. I hope we will talk more about this kind of feedback between artists in future classes. Besides movie posters, I'm also very interested in concert posters (had the pleasure of going to the Denver Art Museum's Psychedelic Rock Poster exhibit, amazing!!) and also art created during live musical performances (some local artists from places I've lived: Frenchy from New Orleans, Scramble Campbell painting at Red Rocks in CO)...

Thanks, Elizabeth Rice

Jeffrey Stern said...

The images of film are so powerful because they are finely articulated, highly manipulated real time streaming of audio and visual information that play on our emotions and moral stances. They are fake reproductions of what we would like to accept as reality. They excel at seduction.
Are movies the "memories" of our culture or cultural memories? And we do not dream in movies. Dreaming existed long before the invention of cinema. We have discovered a cinematic language synthesized from the syntax of our mind / brain as exhibited in dreams. This language is successful because, like language, is inherent in the basic structure of how our mind communicates information.
I find Pantoja's work curious. He uses movie images as reference much as an illustrator will use a clip file when creating illustrations. They don't comment on or in any way reference the story or cinematic experience of the source. Except for D.J. and its iconic image from The Shinning I would not recognize the source of the reference until reading the caption. I'm curious why he would choose these images. Again except for D.J. he has gone out of his way to present un-cinematic images, flat and devoid of depth. Though even D.J. with its strong vanishing point is rendered in color and tone that flattens the picture plane. Lautrec's Reine de joie is far more cinematic in its tilted angle and use of space. But then Lautrec, Degas and other of the period used photography as reference for their work. While I understand the comparisons you present in Matisse and the others, that work is in another league. Even the movie posters I find more honest in their intent. What is Pantoja saying?

lauren dresbach said...

After looking through all of his paintings, I kept thinking what movie each of them was made for. I never saw The Shining so I never made that connection to the first painting. Unfortunately, the paintings were not very intriguing to me but it was nice to see a different way or making a movie poster.

Even though I was not in love with his work, I do appreciate his vibrant use of color and creating a movie poster that is totally different from what we are used to seeing today.

Lauren Dresbach

blorenzo said...

I think the posters done by Pantoja are fascinating because of how they probably represent the hazy memories the artist has of these films. In referencing there sources, his artworks are obviously incomplete and inaccurate - but so are memories, they can dissolve, abstract, and completely changed over time. However, that seems to be the point as Pantoja has flattened his images with the use of color, “scratchy” brush strokes, and uneven contour lines. I feel as if these posters started off as clean projected images printed onto the artist mind, then overtime they abstracted into just the abbreviated figures and mood he felt at the moment. Moreover, I think the centering of the subject is interesting because of how it relates to regular everyday photography done by non-professionals. I feel as though people tend to center themselves when taking photos of themselves, friends, or family. I don’t know if Pantoja chose his “screenshots” because they were centered or if this was manipulated by the artist, but it seems to me the artist is channeling himself through the character, or vice versa.
Bryan Lorenzo arh 346

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy Jorge Pantoja’s "Cinematheque" work. Maybe it’s the subtle energy of the color combinations that animate the pieces or the narrative that is suddenly understood and continued upon by the individual viewer but they seem to have a life of their own. Even more interesting to me is that I have no referent for movies from which the images originate as I have never seen or heard of them, however my mind still navigates the scenarios and narrates the stories. His color combinations set mood and the pace and my imagination does the rest.

His simplicity is refreshing and appropriately compared to Matisse’s as his renderings resemble stencils and cutouts but offer more to the eye through repetitive colors and patterns than a realistically rendered photo like reproduction. It is as though his chosen method for reproduction captures and communicates all that has not been seen so that the story can be picked up at any moment with the plot quickly assimilated and easily continued.

Ciara Young
ARH 346

Dr. Manhattan said...

As a motion pictures major, film is my passion. So I'm automatically responsive to cinemateque and the idea of the immense power of films. I'm also an art history major so I complete relate to the connection between art and cinema. Although I had only seen one of the films that inspired the paintings, I was able to get a sense of the mood of the films I hadn't seen from the use of colors and shapes. The images are very flat, but the colors give the images a depth that the lines don't. Needless to say I was moved. The images were compared to matise for the flattness but the colors remind me of some of Kandinsky's pieces. Highly saturated primaries and secondaries give the works a child like quality that warms my heart and makes me smile.

-Jeremy Ladson

AlexBroadwell said...

I find some of the examples more faithful to moods and feelings of their respective film than others.

I agree with barnez that the "The Shining" drawings don't really capture the 'essence' of the film, but his use of vivid colors presents a pretty cool and unexpected twist on a familiar subject, especially in the Jack Torrance Axe one. The brightness of the colors seems almost playful, although their warmness could suggest stress or anger.

The more dark, shadowy drawings like the ones from "The Long Goodbye," "The Pawnbroker," and "Le Samourai" seem to more faithfully depict the film. Here, the subjects' faces are all partially or mostly obscured by shadow with an overall dark color scheme.

I also find it interesting that the subjects in the "The Long Goodbye" and "The Pawnbroker" pieces are warm oranges and reds while the "Le Samourai" subject is a cool dark blue.

And yeah, Saul Bass is pretty great

miamibourbaki said...

Nice comment, Sau Ping!