Celluloid Transmutations

The concept of gesture drawing has become a core exercise in academic drawing instruction since distilled by Kimon Nicolaїdes in the early 1940’s. This exercise involves quickly rendering the most essential composition of a form in space and time with little minimal regard to specificity. It attempts an end-run around artists’ self-conscious inner critic. As a drawing instructor, I have used this exercise numerous times and in multiple variations.

 

Celluloid Transmutations in the end result of combining this approach to rendering time-based subjects of repetitive exposure.

 

From 2009 to 2010 I repeatedly watched the film Casablanca in an attempt to parallel an experiment I was conducting on certain musical works that I was attracted to but simultaneously found incomprehensible. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand Casablanca, but that I thought it interesting to see what would happen to my perspective of a work of art within another medium with repeated exposure.

 

While intrigued with the time-lapse version of gesture drawings (i.e. sketching an athlete in action over several seconds) I found myself considering a long-running series of time-lapse gesture drawing of Casablanca over its entire duration. I have played with other variations on the approach including other films, size variations, and breaking the film down into scene-by-scene versions arranged stacked reminiscent of celluloid film strips.

 

All works are graphite on Clearprint vellum unless stated otherwise.

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film), 2014

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film), 2014

24" x 36"

Jaws 1974 (Full Film), 2013

Jaws 1974 (Full Film), 2013

24" x 36"

Once Upon a Time in the West 1968 (Full Film), 2013

Once Upon a Time in the West 1968 (Full Film), 2013

24" x 36"

The General 1926 (Full Film), 2013

The General 1926 (Full Film), 2013

24" x 36"

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film), 2013

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film), 2013

18" x 24"

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film), 2011

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film), 2011

11" x 17"

Casablanca 1942 (Scene 37/80), 2016

Casablanca 1942 (Scene 37/80), 2016

11" x 17

Casablanca 1942 (Scene 16/80), 2013

Casablanca 1942 (Scene 16/80), 2013

11" x 17"

Casablanca 1942 (Scenes 00-03/80), 2016
Casablanca 1942 (Scenes 00-03/80), 2016
Casablanca 1942 (Scenes 00-03/80), 2016
Casablanca 1942 (Scenes 00-03/80), 2016
Casablanca 1942 (Scenes 00-03/80), 2016

Casablanca 1942 (Scenes 00-03/80), 2016

11" x 17"

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film on Yupo), 2011

Casablanca 1942 (Full Film on Yupo), 2011

20" x 24"