Sunday, November 09, 2008

Art Imitates Life Imitates Art Imitates Life

This weekend I went to see superwriter (like a supermodel but with a pen) Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut, "Synecdoche, New York". Darker than his normally abnormal scribed fare such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Adaptation," and "Being John Malkovich," what this film lacks in levity it more than makes up for in stunning visuals.

The incredible sets designed by Mark Freidberg, Mellissa Toth's gorgeous costumes, and amazing acting performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, and child star scene-stealer Sadie Goldstien, make this a phenomenal cinematic experience.

But, by far my favorite element in the film were the paintings featured as the work of Keener's self-seeking artist character, Adele Lack. Miniaturized in the film, the canvases are actually the work of artist Alex Kanevsky. The paintings feature figures modeled delicately in soft flesh tones that are the result of many layers of color. They are beautiful.

Here is a sampling of Kanevsky's work:

I love art that focuses on the body, on figures. I feel like each of these paintings are distant cousins of Edward Hopper canvases, with their snapshot stillness. Each of them is like a short story breeding ground. They pose all of the basic questions: who? what? why? and leave the answers up to the viewer. Kanevsky's work was used to great effect in the film and added so much beauty to the bleakness. If you see "Synecdoche, New York," let me know what you think.

Click images for source information.

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