When I watched The Holiday for the first time, I recognized an artwork that hangs above the staircase that Amanda (Cameron Diaz) storms down while fuming at her boyfriend whom she suspects of cheating. This artwork is a piece from Robert Longo's "Men in the Cities" done in charcoal, graphite and ink. You can also catch many more from the series in American Psycho, another favorite film of mine. As an art director and graphic designer, I keep coming back to Longo's "Men in the Cities" solo exhibit at Metro Pictures Gallery in 1981 when I think about authorship. In his solo show, Longo stenciled on the wall, credits for the models and fabricators whom contributed to the creation of these immaculately produced drawings.
Let me say one thing before I go on.
To be completely honest, I've never studied art officially until I started my masters at Art Center in 2009. Of course, anyone avid can study anything on ones own and totally kick ass at their expertise, but there is a thing to be said about attending school. More than anything, speaking from my own experience, the most priceless aspect of entering a school is the people you meet and what they teach you. For the people I met, the lasting friendships I've found, what I learned from their wisdom and how they shaped my world is something I'm indebted to for the rest of my life. And going to "art school", something I even avoided for being afraid it would shape my way of thought too much, is one thing that absolutely rocked my world. And I'm grateful for my experience.
I'm not ashamed to say that before I went to school, I had no fucking clue of what so-called "fine art" was. Painfully, this fact immediately came to light when I started presenting my work in one of my first classes. Not only was I ignorant of the history and major names and works of art, I didn't even know the language to comprehend and talk about art. So it come as no surprise that I couldn't understand the significance (or insignificance) of a piece of, say, a bike wheel atop a stool. Yes, Marcel Duchamp is a perfect example (http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=81631). Cutting to the chase, I'd say art school for me was a language school to perceive not only art, but the world through a completely different semiotic structure. This, I will write about in another post.
Now back to Robert Longo and films. I juxtapose these two to think about production and authorship: who made the work? It's something I often think about when I work for clients, work on film productions and think about work I released under my name. There's no wonder why end credits of films are so long if you think of how every micro component of a film is created. But the truth is, there are much more people out there that deserve credit for their contributions. I think about this when I think about how my work was made possible. For example, like Benny the Hippie Bus. Although that piece of work is by Anna Takahashi, it is BY OTHERS as well and couldn't have manifisted itself without them.
More writing about my work, work of others and art to come.
For now--authorship--something to think about.