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Dreamcatcher: Self-taught artist paints the Surreal World of the Subconscious
06.13.2016
09:50 am
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‘The Lost Narrative’ (2015).
 
I write down what I remember of my dreams each day—trying to capture them before they disappear like dew on a summer morning. Though it’s a good aide—memoire words don’t always capture the fleeting sensation such visions inspire as perfectly as an artist can with a painting.

Mike Worrall is an almost entirely self-taught artist who has been painting large, beautiful, surreal and mysterious pictures inspired by dreams and the subconscious since the early 1960s. As a child he was greatly intrigued by paintings that contained a dream-like narrative of “some sought of mystery element.” His own work followed in a similar direction where he keeps the viewer “guessing and wondering what it’s about”.

Worrall may sometimes be unsure as to what exactly his paintings are about. He might not quite fully understand them but says he is “a firm believer that I should not have to attempt to explain the enigma to people and that the picture should retain some mystery for a lasting interest.”

I’m interested in Dreams and Subconscious thoughts and the weirdness of how we go from one thought to another in an almost drifting process. Dreams are a great source of material for me. Not that I wake up and paint the dream that I may have had, even if I could remember it, I’d then have to most likely make up the details. My paintings are more deliberate and constructed with the element of change.

Worrall has also worked as an “Ideas Artist” in films. One of his paintings inspired Roman Polanski to make a film of William Shakespeare’s play MacBeth. More recently, he designed concept art for the Xenomorph in Alien3.

Born in Derbyshire, England in 1942, Worrall moved to Australia in 1988, where he currently resides. His paintings have been exhibited across the world. Many of his paintings are in collections owned by Polanski, Nicholas Roeg and musician Alan Price.

A whole gallery of Mike Worrall’s work can be seen here.
 
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‘Escape from the Garden of Different Meanings’ (2015).
 
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‘Disparnumerophobia meaning the fear of odd numbers’ (2015).
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.13.2016
09:50 am
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Eerie robot doll sings: ‘I Feel Fantastic’
05.31.2011
05:05 pm
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This is quite weird and wonderful, chilling even - a surreal Stepford Wife sings “I Feel Fantastic”.

In ancient Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a highly accomplished Cypriot sculptor. Though skilled at imitating the human form, and well acquainted with it’s subtleties, he became disgusted by it when he witnessed the Propoetides prostituting themselves. These women were punished by Venus for their lack of worship with a coarseness of skin and a crudeness of nature, and were then forced into prostitution. Seeing this, Pygmalion the sculptor was repelled and could no longer appreciate women.

Seemingly alone, Pygmalion sought to create for himself a perfect, pure, unsullied companion. He used his particular skills to this end: he created a statue bride.

What you are about to watch is a mysterious video. It’s origin is attributed variously, and almost certainly spuriously, to various abstract artists or surrealists. The truth is that what we are seeing, and what we perceive to be strange and disturbing, is actually beauty to it’s creator.

Perhaps what we are viewing is the work of a modern Pygmalion. To him, her toneless voice, the paleness of her skin and the comparative vibrancy of her lips may indeed be the very embodiment of a perfect woman…

Consider the mind-scape of the creator. In whose mind does this appear beautiful? In whose mind is this pure, near worshipful? Are we missing out on his perspective?

Who are we to be afraid or to judge them? He may well love her fully, perhaps more fully than any of us could ever hope to be loved. In the mind of her creator, she is a near goddess; the perfect representation, not just of femininity, but the peak of human potential. A perfectly satisfactory being.

How does that kind of unconditional love feel?

Well, how does she feel?

Fantastic.

The great thing about these videos is that you can sit and compose stories around what is going on, who made this beautiful “android”, called Tara and why? And what happens when the drapes are drawn?

If this were a fiction, a horror film, then the close-up of the trees and grass in the first video would be significant - a clue to where the bodies are buried. But of course this isn’t a fiction.
 

 
Bonus clips of this singing android, after the jump…
 
With thanks to Steve Duffy
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.31.2011
05:05 pm
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Two of David Lynch’s Early Films: ‘The Grandmother’ and ‘The Alphabet’

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A taste of things to come - two of David Lynch’s early films.

The Grandmother (1970):

The plot of the Grandmother centers around a boy who, looking for an escape from his abusive parents, grows a grandmother to comfort him. “There’s something about a grandmother…It came from this particular character’s need - a need that that prototype can provide. Grandmothers get playful. And they relax a little, and they have unconditional love. And that’s what this kid, you know, conjured up.”

The film has little dialog and combines animation with film, in its exploration of the “myths of birth, sexuality and death.”
 
The Alphabet (1968):

[David] Lynch’s wife, Peggy, told him of a dream her niece had during which she was reciting the alphabet in her sleep, then woke up and starting bouncing around repeating it. Lynch took this idea and ran with it. First he painted the walls of his upstairs bedroom black. Lynch painted Peggy’s face white to give her an un-real contrast to the black room, and had her bounce around the room in different positions as he filmed. This footage was edited together with an animated sequence where the letters of the alphabet slowly appear and a capital A gives birth to several smaller a’s which form a human figure.

 

 
The rest of ‘The Grandmother’ plus Lynch’s ‘The Alphabet’, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.15.2011
06:41 pm
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