Robert Rodriguez fineartprintsca

The art and interests of Robert Rodriguez

Tag: Influences of Famous Artists

Who Is Responsible For This?

I don’t know if it would be the Production Designer or the Director of Photography or the Director himself, but someone is doing a lot of research from a lot of different sources before they make a film.  These are only a couple of the things I have noticed recently.

SHERLOCK HOLMES IN THE GARRET

SHERLOCK HOLMES IN THE GARRET

When I work, I watch videos…or listen to them mainly.  I occasionally look up at the screen, and that’s when I spotted these frames.  Sherlock Holmes, the one with Robert Downey Jr….He’s in a garret and there is a scene of him sitting by the bed, no question…The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis from 1856!  The window even has the same number of panes and a very similar handle.

DEATH OF CHATTERTON

DEATH OF CHATTERTON

What symbolism attaches, I really can’t figure out except that Chatterton was an unappreciated poet, as Holmes was under-appreciated for his skills?  Probably more for just artistic reasons than anything else.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

The other had a less obvious connection, but Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Donald Sutherland has the family sitting in the background while one of the sisters writes a letter.  They are all illuminated by the fireplace light, a very chiaroscuro effect.  Because of the dramatic lighting and shadows and also because of Donald Sutherland’s hair, immediately paintings by Wright of Derby came to mind.  He would’ve been painting in the late 1700’s while Pride and Prejudice takes place a little later, at the turn of the century.  Though the scene isn’t taken from either of Joseph Wright’s paintings here, I think you can see the similarities in lighting and composition.

AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN AN AIR PUMP

AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN AN AIR PUMP

THE ORRERY

THE ORRERY

Always fun to find the inspirations behind various images.

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My Bouguereau/Leighton Period

Here is my painting hanging high at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park a few weeks ago.  I didn’t get to go, but a friend took the photo.  The show was hung Academy style, and they actually needed a tall ladder to get it down at the end of the show.  The guy that took this is about 6’4″, so you can get an idea.  I think binoculars should have been standard issue on entering the gallery!

This painting is San Gabriel VAlleygory and depicts the spirit of the valley.  It is 24″ x 48″ without the frame.

San Gabriel VAlleygory

San Gabriel VAlleygory

Frederic Lord Leighton’s Flaming June

Don’t be confused by the Old-Fashioned Cocktail, this is the actual painting.

Sir Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June

Old Fashioned Flaming June

Old Fashioned Flaming June

Lord Leighton painted what is probably his most recognized painting in 1895.  By 1960, Victorian painting was considered very old-fashioned and when this painting was put up for auction, it didn’t even meet its reserve price of $140!!!  I am sure that within 6 years, it would’ve been appreciated by all of the poster artists of San Francisco, but in 1963, Luis A. Ferré, a Puerto Rican industrialist and politician, was on a buying trip for a museum he had founded in Puerto Rico when he discovered the painting in a gallery in Amsterdam.  He purchased it for $1000 because of the low interest in art from that period.  But I keep thinking, if I had just washed a few more cars, and mowed a few more lawns, I could have bought it at that auction for $140…I guess it is better off in Puerto Rico.

 

Color Inspiration for Tales Poster

I was designing the poster for this years Tales of the Cocktail, knowing I wanted to do something with a sort of Cubist/Art Deco look to it.  That got me started.  My thinking about color evolved much more slowly.  At first I was keeping the color very greyed down and I liked it that way.  But then I started throwing in more and more vibrant colors and eventually ideas started coming to me.  I kept thinking about a painting by Edward Hopper of an usherette in a movie theater, and that reminded me of my favorite Van Gogh painting of a pool room/cafe.  I think Van Gogh described it as the kind of place that one could go mad in.  Not exactly what I wanted to convey in my Tales poster, but the color was still beautiful, so I let those two images inspire my color choices.

Also known as "The Usherette" by Edward Hopper

NEW YORK MOVIE: Also known as “The Usherette” by Edward Hopper

THE NIGHT CAFE: by Vincent van Gogh

THE NIGHT CAFE: by Vincent van Gogh