Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Inspiration; A night at the Portage Theater with Dave McKean

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Last night I had the rare privilege of seeing a few of artist Dave McKean’s works up close and first hand followed by live performances and a screening of the 1929 silent film classic, Faust.  I had first discovered Dave McKean in my highschool years through his collaborations with Neil Gaiman.  Then he wrote Cages, and there was just something about it.  I couldn’t synopsize that story for you now if I tried, but even not having looked at it in over a decade, there are pieces of it that continue to stick with me. When I shook his hand last night, I asked him if he would speak a bit about his process.  As it turned out, his time at the microphone was short, but what he did speak of was inspiration.  He spoke of being inspired by these old early films.  And in some ways, I think that was a better answer.  Process always begins with inspiration. You can see here, the original film image of the devil taking the village, and then McKean’s take on it.

Murnau's Faust McKean's Faust Now I had gone to this event last night looking to be inspired in mixed-media work.  I went with a head swimming with thoughts about what one medium can bring to another and how I could use different kinds of skills together in my own work.  But what I found instead, was inspiration in how powerful appreciation alone can be.  And maybe this whole idea of mixing mediums to create something new really begins with looking at more kinds of art. The works I saw last night were not anatomical or scientific in nature.  They were, on the contrary, works of expression.  But perhaps there are lessons to be learned here that can be utilized in other kinds of art. So I guess the thought I leave you all with, is to remember your inspirations, whatever they may be.

Written by Sara

July 19th, 2009 at 12:11 am

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