Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn was born Antonio Rodolfo Oaxaca Quinn in Chihuahua, Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution. Anthony Quinn was born on 21 April, 1915 and died on 3 June, 2001.

Anthony Quinn was a 2-time Academy Award-winning Mexican-American actor, as well as a painter and writer.  Anthony Quinn starred in numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including Zorba the Greek and Federico Fellini’s La strada. Anthony Quinn also appeared in Lawrence of Arabia, Viva Zapata!, Lust for Life, Barabbas, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Mohammad, Messenger of God, The Shoes of the Fisherman, and The Guns of Navarone.

Anthony Quinn’s mother, Manuela “Nellie” Oaxaca, was of Aztec ancestry. Anthony Quinn’s father, Francisco Quinn, was born in Mexico to an Irish father and a Mexican mother. Frank Quinn rode with Pancho Villa, but later moved to Los Angeles and became an assistant cameraman at a movie studio. In Anthony Quinn’s autobiography The Original Sin: A Self-Portrait by Anthony Quinn he denied being the son of an “Irish adventurer” and attributed that tale to Hollywood publicists.

When he was 6 years old, Anthony Quinn attended a Catholic church (even thinking he wanted to become a priest). At the age of 11, however, he joined the Pentecostals in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (the Pentecostal followers of Aimee Semple McPherson).

Anthony Quinn grew up first in El Paso, Texas, and later the Boyle Heights and the Echo Park areas of Los Angeles, California. Anthony Quinn attended Hammel St. Elementary School, Belvedere Junior High School, Polytechnic High School and finally Belmont High School but left before graduating. Tucson High School in Arizona years many later awarded him an honourary high school diploma.

As a young man Anthony Quinn boxed professionally to earn money, then studied art and architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright, both at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Arizona residence and his Wisconsin studio, Taliesin. The 2 very different men became friends. When Anthony Quinn mentioned he was drawn to acting, Frank Lloyd Wright encouraged him. Anthony Quinn said he had been offered $800 a week by a film studio and didn’t know what to do. Frank Lloyd Wright replied, “Take it, you’ll never make that much with me.”

After a short time performing on the stage, Anthony Quinn launched his film career performing character roles in the 1936 films Parole (his debut) and The Milky Way. Anthony Quinn played “ethnic” villains in Paramount films such as Dangerous to Know (1938) and Road to Morocco. By 1947, he had appeared in over 50 films and had played Indians, Mafia dons, Hawaiian chiefs, Filipino freedom-fighters, Chinese guerrillas, and Arab sheiks, but was still not a major star. Anthony Quinn returned to the theater, even playing Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway.

In 1947, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Anthony Quinn came back to Hollywood in the early 1950s, specialising in tough roles. Anthony Quinn was cast in a series of B-adventures such as Mask of the Avenger (1951). Anthony Quinn’s big break cane from playing opposite Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan’s Viva Zapata! (1952). Anthony Quinn’s supporting role as Zapata’s brother won Anthony Quinn an Oscar. Anthony Quinn was the 1st Mexican-American to win any Academy Award. Anthony Quinn appeared in several Italian films starting in 1953, turning in one of his best performances as a dim-witted, thuggish and volatile strongman in Federico Fellini’s La strada (1954) opposite Giulietta Masina. Anthony Quinn won his 2nd Oscar for Best Supporting Actor by portraying the painter Gauguin in Vincente Minnelli’s Van Gogh biopic, Lust for Life (1956). The award was remarkable as he was onscreen for only 8 minutes. The following year, he received a Oscar nomination for his part in George Cukor’s Wild Is the Wind. In The River’s Edge (1957), he played the husband of the former girlfriend (played by Debra Paget) of a killer (Ray Milland), who turns up with a stolen fortune and forces Anthony Quinn and Paget at gunpoint to guide him safely to Mexico. Anthony Quinn starred in The Savage Innocents 1959 (film) as Inuk, an Eskimo who finds himself caught between 2 clashing cultures.

Anthony Quinn as Wogan in the trailer for The Black Swan(1942)as the decade ended, Anthony Quinn allowed his age to show and began his transformation into a major character actor. Anthony Quinn’s physique filled out, his hair grayed, and his once smooth, swarthy face weathered became more rugged. Anthony Quinn’s demeanor made him a convincing Greek resistance fighter in The Guns of Navarone (1961), an ideal ex-boxer in Requiem for a Heavyweight, and a natural for the role of Auda ibu Tayi in Lawrence of Arabia (both 1962). That year he also played the title role in Barabbas, based on a novel by Pär Lagerkvist. The success of Zorba the Greek in 1964 was the high water mark of his career and resulted in another Oscar nomination. Other successes include La Vingt-cinquième heure (1967, The Twenty Fifth Hour), with Virna Lisi; The Magus (1968), with Michael Caine and Candice Bergen, and based on the novel by John Fowles; and The Shoes of the Fisherman, where he played a Russian pope. In 1969, he starred in The Secret of Santa Vittoria with Anna Magnani.

Anthony Quinn appeared on Broadway to great acclaim in Becket, as King Henry II to Laurence Olivier’s Thomas Becket in 1960. An erroneous story arose in later years that during the run, Anthony Quinn and Laurence Olivier switched roles and Anthony Quinn played Becket to Laurence Olivier’s King. In fact, Anthony Quinn left the production for a film, never having played Becket, and director Peter Glenville suggested a road tour with Laurence Olivier as Henry. Laurence Olivier happily acceded and Arthur Kennedy took on the role of Becket for the tour and brief return to Broadway.

In 1971, after the success of a TV movie named The City, where Anthony Quinn played Albuquerque Mayor Thomas Jefferson Alcala, he starred in the short-lived (1-season) television drama spin-off The Man in the City. Anthony Quinn’s subsequent television appearances were sporadic (among them Jesus of Nazareth).

In 1977, Anthony Quinn starred in the movie Mohammad, Messenger of God (aka The Message), about the origin of Islam, as Hamzah, a highly revered warrior instrumental in the early stages of Islam. In 1982, he starred in the Lion of the Desert, together with Irene Papas, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger, and John Gielgud. Anthony Quinn played the real-life Bedouin leader Omar Mukhtar who fought Mussolini’s Italian troops in the deserts of Libya. The film, produced and directed by Moustapha Akkad, is now critically acclaimed, but performed poorly at the box office because of negative publicity in the West at the time of its release, stemming from its having been partially funded by Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi. In 1983, he reprised his most famous role, playing Zorba the Greek for 362 performances in a successful revival of the Kander and Ebb musical Zorba.

Anthony Quinn’s film career slowed during the 1990s, but Anthony Quinn nonetheless continued to work steadily, appearing in Revenge (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Last Action Hero (1993), and A Walk in the Clouds (1995). In 1994, he played Zeus in the five TV movies that led to the syndicated series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. (However, he did not continue in the actual series, and the role was eventually filled by several other actors).

Throughout his teenage years he won various art competitions in California and focused his studies at Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles on drafting. Later, Anthony Quinn studied briefly under Frank Lloyd Wright through the Taliesin Fellowship—an opportunity created by winning 1st prize in an architectural design contest. Through Frank Lloyd Wright’s recommendation, Anthony Quinn took acting lessons as a form of post-operative speech therapy, which led to an acting career that spanned over 6 decades.

Apart from art classes taken in Chicago during the 1950s, Anthony Quinn never attended art school; nonetheless, taking advantage of books, museums, and amassing a sizable collection, he managed to give himself an effective education in the language of modern art. Although Anthony Quinn remained mostly self-taught, intuitively seeking out and exploring new ideas, there is observable history in his work because he had assiduously studied the modernist masterpieces on view in the galleries of New York, Mexico City, Paris, and London. When filming on location around the world, Anthony Quinn was exposed to regional contemporary art styles exhibited at local galleries and studied art history in each area.

In an endless search for inspiration, he was influenced by his Mexican ancestry, decades of residency in Europe, and lengthy stays in Africa and the Middle East while filming in the 1970s and 1980s.

By the early 1980s, his work had caught the eyes of various gallery owners and was exhibited internationally, in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Mexico City. Anthony Quinn’s work is now represented in both public and private collections throughout the world.

Anthony Quinn wrote 2 memoirs, The Original Sin (1972) and One Man Tango (1997), a number of scripts, and a series of unpublished stories currently in the collection of his archive.

Anthony Quinn’s personal life was as volatile and passionate as the characters he played in films. anthony Quinn’s 1st wife was the adopted daughter of Cecil B. DeMille, the actress Katherine DeMille, whom he married in 1937. The couple had 5 children, they are Christopher (born 1939), Christina (born 1 December, 1941), Catalina (born 21 November, 1942), Duncan (born 4 August, 1945), and Valentina (born 26 December, 1952). One of their sons, Christopher, age 2, drowned in the swimming pool of next-door neighbor W.C. Fields. Anthony Quinn and DeMille were divorced in 1965.

The next year, he married costume designer Iolanda Quinn (Jolanda Addolori). They had 3 children they are Francesco (born 22 March, 1962), Danny (born 16 April, 1964), and Lorenzo (born 7 May, 1966). The union ended in 1997, after Anthony Quinn fathered a child with his secretary, Kathy Benvin. Anthony Quinn then married Benvin, with whom he had 2 children, Antonia (born 23 July, 1993) and Ryan Nicholas (born 5 July, 1996). Anthony Quinn and Kathy Benvin remained together until his death.

Anthony Quinn also fathered 3 other children out of wedlock: Alexander Anthony (born 30 December, 1976), Valentina, and Sean Quinn, a New Jersey real estate agent.

Anthony Quinn spent his last years in Bristol, Rhode Island. Anthony Quinn died aged 86 in Boston, Massachusetts from pneumonia and respiratory failure while suffering from throat cancer shortly after completing his role in his last film, Avenging Angelo (2002).

Anthony Quinn’s funeral was held in a Baptist church; late in life, he had joined the Foursquare evangelical Christian community. Anthony Quinn is buried in a family plot near Bristol.

On 5 January, 1982, the Belvedere County Public Library in East Los Angeles was renamed in honour of Anthony Quinn. The present library sits on the site of his family’s former home.

There is an Anthony Quinn Bay and Beach in Rhodes, Dodecanese, Greece, just 2.7 miles (4.3 km) south of the village of Faliraki (aka Falirakion or Falirákion).

The National Council of La Raza gives the Anthony Quinn Award for excellence in motion pictures as an ALMA Award.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more celebrities featuring shortly …………….

Bookmark and Share

Club Feet or Foot Series-Disabled Legend David Lynch

David Keith Lynch was born on 20 January, 1946 in Missoula, Montana. David Lynch is an American director, screenwriter, producer, painter, cartoonist, composer, video and performance artist. David Lynch has received 3 Academy Award nominations for Best Director, for The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Drive (2001). David Lynch has won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. David Lynch is probably best recalled as the director of The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr. and as the creator of the Twin Peaks television series.

Over a lengthy career, David Lynch has employed a distinctive and unorthodox approach to narrative film making (dubbed Lynchian), which has become instantly recognisable to many audiences and critics worldwide. David Lynch’s films are known for surreal, nightmarish and dreamlike images and meticulously crafted sound design. David Lynch’s work often explores the seedy underside of “Small Town U.S.” (particularly Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks), or sprawling California metropolises (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and his latest release, Inland Empire). Beginning with his experimental film school feature Eraserhead (1977), he has maintained a strong cult following despite inconsistent commercial success.

David Lynch’s father, Donald, was a U.S. Department of Agriculture research scientist and his mother, Sunny Lynch, was an English language tutor. David Lynch was raised throughout the Pacific Northwest and Durham, North Carolina. David Lynch attained the rank of Eagle Scout and, on his 15th birthday, served as an usher at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration. David Lynch is a Presbyterian. David Lynch’s mother’s father, whose last name was Sandholm, moved to the United States from Finland in the 19th century, and David Lynch is one of the most well-known Finnish Americans.

Intending to become an artist, David Lynch attended classes at Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. while finishing high school in Alexandria, Virginia. David Lynch enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for 1 year (where he was a roommate of Peter Wolf) before leaving for Europe with his friend and fellow artist Jack Fisk, planning to study with Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka. Although he had planned to stay for 3 years, David Lynch returned to the US after only 15 days.

In 1966, David Lynch relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and made a series of complex mosaics in geometric shapes which he called Industrial Symphonies. David Lynch’s receipt for his 1st camera, purchased in Philadelphia on 25 April, 1967 at Fotorama, lists his residency as 2429 Aspen Street. This house is located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, also known as the Art Museum neighborhood. The receipt can be viewed on The Short Films of David Lynch. At this time, he also began working in film. David Lynch’s 1st short film 6 Men Getting Sick (1966), which he described as “57 seconds of growth and fire, and 3 seconds of vomit”, was played on a loop at an art exhibit. It won the Academy’s annual film contest. This led to a commission from H. Barton Wasserman to do a film installation in his home. After a disastrous 1st attempt that resulted in a completely blurred, frameless print, Barton Wasserman allowed David Lynch to keep the remaining portion of the commission. Using this, he created The Alphabet.

In 1970, David Lynch turned his attention away from fine art and focused primarily on film. David Lynch won a $5,000 grant from the American Film Institute to produce The Grandmother, about a neglected boy who “grows” a grandmother from a seed. The 30minute film exhibited many elements that would become David Lynch trademarks, including unsettling sound and disturbingly surrealistic imagery and a focus on unconscious desires instead of traditional narration.

In 1971, David Lynch moved to Los Angeles to attend the M.F.A. studies at the AFI Conservatory. At the Conservatory, David Lynch began working on his 1st feature-length film, Eraserhead, using a $10,000 grant from the AFI. The grant did not provide enough money to complete the film and, due to lack of a sufficient budget, Eraserhead was filmed intermittently until 1977. David Lynch used money from friends and family, including boyhood friend Jack Fisk, a production designer and the husband of actress Sissy Spacek, and even took a paper route to finish it.

A stark and enigmatic film, Eraserhead tells the story of a quiet young man (Jack Nance) living in an industrial wasteland, whose girlfriend gives birth to a constantly crying mutant baby. David Lynch has referred to Eraserhead as “my Philadelphia story”, meaning it reflects all of the dangerous and fearful elements he encountered while studying and living in Philadelphia. David Lynch said “this feeling left its traces deep down inside me. And when it came out again, it became Eraserhead”.

The final film was initially judged to be almost unreleasable, but thanks to the efforts of The Elgin Theatre distributor Ben Barenholtz, it became an instant cult classic and was a staple of midnight movie showings for the next decade. It was also a critical success, launching David Lynch to the forefront of avant-garde filmmaking. Stanley Kubrick said that it was one of his all-time favorite films. It cemented the team of actors and technicians who would continue to define the texture of his work for years to come, including cinematographer Frederick Elmes, sound designer Alan Splet, and actor Jack Nance.

Eraserhead brought David Lynch to the attention of producer Mel Brooks, who hired him to direct 1980’s The Elephant Man, a biopic of deformed Victorian era figure Joseph Merrick. The film was a huge commercial success, and earned 8 Academy Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay nods for David Lynch. It also established his place as a commercially viable, if somewhat dark and unconventional, Hollywood director. George Lucas, a fan of Eraserhead, offered David Lynch the opportunity to direct Return of the Jedi, which he refused, feeling that it would be more Lucas’s vision than his own.

Afterwards, David Lynch agreed to direct a big budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune for Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis’s De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, on the condition that the company release a second David Lynch project, over which the director would have complete creative control. Although Dino De Laurentiis hoped it would be the next Star Wars, David Lynch’s Dune (1984) was a critical and commercial dud, costing $45,000,000 to make, and grossing a mere $27.4,000,000 domestically. The studio released an “extended cut” of the film for syndicated television in which some footage was reinstated; however, certain shots from elsewhere in the film were repeated throughout the story to give the impression that other footage had been added. Whatever the case, this was not representative of David Lynch’s intended cut, but rather a cut that the studio felt was more comprehensible than the original theatrical version. David Lynch objected to these changes and disowned the extended cut, which has “Alan Smithee” credited as the director. This version has since been released on video worldwide.

David Lynch’s 2nd Dino De Laurentiis financed project was 1986’s Blue Velvet, the story of a college student (Kyle MacLachlan) who discovers his small, idealistic hometown hides a dark side after investigating a severed ear he found in a field. The film featured memorable performances from Isabella Rossellini as a tormented lounge singer, and Dennis Hopper as a crude, psychopathic criminal, and the leader of a small gang of backwater hoodlums.

Although David Lynch had found success previously with The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet’s controversy with audiences and critics introduced him into the mainstream, and became a huge critical and commercial success. Thus, the film earned David Lynch his 2nd Academy Award nomination for Best Director. The content of the film and its artistic merit drew much controversy from audiences and critics alike in 1986 and onwards. Blue Velvet introduced several common elements of his work, including abused women, the dark underbelly of small towns, and unconventional uses of vintage songs. Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” and Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” are both featured in disturbing ways. It was also the 1st time David Lynch worked with composer Angelo Badalamenti, who would contribute to all of his future full-length films except INLAND EMPIRE.

Woody Allen, whose film Hannah and Her Sisters was nominated for Best Picture, said that Blue Velvet was his favourite film of the year. The film is consistently ranked as one of the greatest American films ever made, and has become a hugely influential motion picture, the impact of which is still being felt in Hollywood and popular culture.

After failing to secure funding for several completed scripts in the late 1980s, David Lynch collaborated with television producer Mark Frost on the show Twin Peaks, which was about a small Washington town that is the location of several bizarre occurrences. The show centered around the investigation by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the death of popular high school student Laura Palmer, an investigation that unearthed the secrets of many town residents, something that stemmed from Blue Velvet. David Lynch directed 6 episodes of the series, including the feature-length pilot, wrote or co-wrote several more and even acted in some episodes.

The show debuted on the ABC Network on 8 April, 1990 and gradually rose from cult hit to cultural phenomenon, and because of its originality and success remains one of the most well-known television series of the decade. Catch phrases from the show entered the culture and parodies of it were seen on Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons. David Lynch appeared on the cover of Time magazine largely because of the success of the series. David Lynch, who has seldom acted in his career, also appeared on the show as the partially-deaf FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, who shouted his every word.

However, David Lynch clashed with the ABC Network on several matters, particularly whether or not to reveal Laura Palmer’s killer. The network insisted that the revelation be made during the 2nd season but David Lynch wanted the mystery to last as long as the series. David Lynch soon became disenchanted with the series, and, as a result, many cast members complained of feeling abandoned. Later, in a roundtable discussion with cast members included in the 2007 DVD release of the series, he stated that he and Mark Frost never intended to ever reveal the identity of Laura’s killer, that ABC forced him to reveal the culprit prematurely, and that agreeing to do so is one of his biggest professional regrets.

It was at this time that David Lynch began to work with editor/producer/domestic partner Mary Sweeney who had been one of his assistant editors on Blue Velvet. This was a collaboration that would last some 11 projects. During this period, Mary Sweeney also gave birth to their son.

Adapted from the novel by Barry Gifford, Wild at Heart was an almost hallucinatory crime/road movie starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. It won the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival but was met with a muted response from American critics and viewers. Reportedly, several people walked out of test screenings.

The missing link between Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart, however, is Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted. It was originally presented on-stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City on 10 November, 1989 as a part of the New Music America Festival. Industrial Symphony No. 1 is another collaboration between composer Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch. It features 5 songs by Julee Cruise and stars several members of the Twin Peaks cast as well as Nic Cage, Laura Dern and Julee Cruise. David Lynch described this musical spectacle as the “sound effects and music and … happening on the stage. And, it has something to do with, uh, a relationship ending.” David Lynch produced a 50 minute video of the performance in 1990.

Twin Peaks suffered a severe ratings drop and was cancelled in 1991. Still, David Lynch scripted a prequel to the series about the last 7 days in the life of Laura Palmer. The resulting film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), flopped at the box office.

As a quick blip during this time period, he and Mark Frost wrote and directed several episodes of the short lived comedy series On the Air for ABC, which followed the zany antics at a 1950s TV studio. In the US, only 3 episodes were aired, although 7 were filmed. In the Netherlands, all 7 were aired by VPRO. BBC2 in the UK also aired all 7 episodes. David Lynch also produced (with Mark Frost) and directed the documentary television series American Chronicles.

David Lynch’s next project was much more low-key: he directed 2 episodes of a 3-episode HBO mini-series called Hotel Room about events that happened in the same hotel room in a span of decades.

David Lynch also had a comic strip – The Angriest Dog in the World – which featured unchanging graphics (various panels showing the angular, angry dog chained up in a yard full of bones) and cryptic philosophical references. It ran from 1983 until 1992in the Village Voice, Creative Loafing and other tabloid and alternative publications.

In 1997, David Lynch returned with the non-linear, noir-like film Lost Highway, co-written by Barry Gifford and starring Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette. The film failed commercially and received a mixed response from critics. However, thanks in part to a soundtrack featuring David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins, it helped gain Lynch a new audience of Generation X viewers.

In 1999, David Lynch surprised fans and critics with the G-rated, Disney-produced The Straight Story, written and edited by Mary Sweeney, which was, on the surface, a simple and humble movie telling the true story of Iowan Alvin Straight, played by Richard Farnsworth, who rides a lawnmower to Wisconsin to make peace with his ailing brother, played by Harry Dean Stanton. The film garnered positive reviews and reached a new audience for its director.

The same year, David Lynch approached ABC once again with an idea for a television drama. The network gave David Lynch the go-ahead to shoot a 2 hour pilot for the series Mulholland Drive, but disputes over content and running time led to the project being shelved indefinitely.

With $7,000,000 from the French production company Studio Canal, David Lynch completed the pilot as a film. Mulholland Drive is an enigmatic tale of the dark side of Hollywood and stars Naomi Watts, Laura Harring and Justin Theroux. The film performed relatively well at the box office worldwide and was a critical success earning David Lynch a Best Director prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival (shared with Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn’t There) and a Best Director award from the New York Film Critics Association.

In 2002, David Lynch created a series of online shorts entitled Dumbland. Intentionally crude both in content and execution, the 8 episode series was later released on DVD. The same year, David Lynch treated his fans to his own version of a sitcom via his website – Rabbits, 8 episodes of surrealism in a rabbit suit. Later, he showed his experiments with Digital Video (DV) in the form of the Japanese style horror short Darkened Room.

At the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, David Lynch announced that he had spent over a year shooting his new project digitally in Poland. The feature, titled Inland Empire, included David Lynch regulars such as Laura Dern, Harry Dean Stanton, and Mulholland Drive star Justin Theroux, with cameos by Naomi Watts and Laura Harring (actors in the rabbit suits), and a performance by Jeremy Irons. David Lynch described the piece as “a mystery about a woman in trouble”. It was released in December 2006. In an effort to promote the film, David Lynch made appearances with a cow and a placard bearing the slogan “Without cheese there would be no Inland Empire”.

Despite his almost exclusive focus on America, David Lynch, like Woody Allen, has found a large audience in France; Inland Empire, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway and Fire Walk With Me were all funded through French production companies.

The most recent work that David Lynch has directed is a fragrance short film/commercial for Gucci. It features 3 prominent models, dancing in what appear to be their own luxurious homes, to the soundtrack of Blondie. A video of the commercial plus a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the commercial is available online at the Gucci website.

In May 2008, David Lynch announced that he was working on a road documentary “about his dialogues with regular folk on the meaning of life, with the likes of 60’s troubadour Donovan and John Hagelin, the physicist, as traveling companions”.

Awards and honours

David Lynch has twice won France’s César Award for Best Foreign Film and served as President of the jury at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, where he had previously won the Palme d’Or in 1990. On 6 September, 2006 David Lynch received a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival. David Lynch also premiered his latest work, Inland Empire, at the festival.

David Lynch has received 4 Academy Award nominations: Best Director for The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001), as well as Best Adapted Screenplay for The Elephant Man (1980).

David Lynch was also honoured by the French government with the Legion of Honour, the country’s top civilian honour, as Chevalier in 2002 then Officier in 2007.

David Lynch is also widely noted for his collaborations with various production artists and composers on his films and multiple different productions. David Lynch frequently uses Angelo Badalamenti to compose music for his productions, former wife Mary Sweeney as a film editor, casting director Johanna Ray, and cast members Harry Dean Stanton, Jack Nance, Kyle MacLachlan, Naomi Watts, Isabella Rossellini and Laura Dern.

Though interpretations do vary, those who study David Lynch’s work generally do find such images to represent consistent or semi-consistent themes throughout his body of work. Also, David Lynch often includes either small town United States in his films as a setting or location, for example Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, or sprawling metropolis, for example Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, where Los Angeles, California becomes the primary location. Beaten or abused women are also a common theme or subject in his productions, as are intimations or explicit mention of sexual abuse and incest (Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Twin Peaks, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and some would pick up references in Mulholland Dr, The Alphabet and The Grandmother).

On a similar note, he has also developed a tendency during the 2nd half of his career to feature his leading female actors in multiple or “split” roles, thus many of his characters have multiple, fractured identities in his films. Starting with the choice to cast Sheryl Lee both as Laura Palmer and as twin cousin Maddy Ferguson on Twin Peaks it continues to be a primary theme in his later works. In Lost Highway, Patricia Arquette has the dual role of Renee Madison/Alice Wakefield. In Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts was cast as Diane Selwyn/Betty Elms and Laura Harring as Camilla Rhodes/Rita. The theme is even further carried out by Laura Dern’s performance in his latest production Inland Empire. Though there are instances in these films of men taking on multiple roles, it seems more common for David Lynch to create multi-character roles for his female actors.

Film critic Roger Ebert has been notoriously unfavourable towards David Lynch, even accusing him of misogyny in his reviews of Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. In early days, Roger Ebert was one of few major critics to dislike Blue Velvet. Roger Ebert seems to have had a change of heart in recent years, as he has written enthusiastic reviews of recent David Lynch films such as The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive.

Unique visuals, often a lot of smoke, saturated and strong colours (especially red), the mix of decaying and rotting environments with aesthetic beauty, minimalist decoration, claustraphobic hallways and staircases, atmospheric lighting, electricity, flickering lights, dark rooms, coffee, lamps, fluorescent lights (especially flickering or damaged), traumatic head injuries and deformities (Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, “Wild at Heart”, “Lost Highway”, “Mulholland Dr.”), highways or open roads at night (Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr.), telephones (“Fire Walk with Me”, “Lost Highway”, “Mulholland Dr.”), dogs, diners (all films with the exception of Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Inland Empire and The Straight Story feature diners), factories (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), red curtains (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., Inland Empire), cigarettes, the binding or crippling of hands or arms, various uses of the color blue and red, angelic or heavenly female figures, and extreme close ups.
Often sets his films in small town USA (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, The Straight Story), and on the contrary, large, sprawling cities (often Los Angeles) in some of his films.

Often casts a musician in a supporting role. Sting in Dune, Chris Isaak, David Bowie and Julee Cruise in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Marilyn Manson, Twiggy Ramirez, and Henry Rollins in Lost Highway, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rebekah Del Rio and Angelo Badalamenti in Mulholland Dr..

Uses many references to France, the French language, culture, people, and names.
Constant references to dreams as a way of connecting the plot and twists in his films, and dreams intertwining with reality.

Frequent use of Roy Orbison songs in his films (In Dreams in Blue Velvet and a Spanish version of Crying in Mulholland Dr.)

Features somewhat obscure and/or lesser-known pop recordings from the middle of America’s 20th century, including “Sixteen Reasons” by Connie Stevens, “Every Little Star” by Linda Scott in “Mulholland Dr.”, and “Honky-Tonk” by Bill Doggett in “Blue Velvet”.

Industrial – atmospheric, dark, brooding, and meticulously timed soundtrack
Interpersonal dialogues and conversations which might often seem, by turns, laconic, aimless, pointless, cryptic, dreamlike, ambiguous. Certainly Lynchian dialogues are polysemous.

Frequent implied thematic discourse revolving around the questions, “What is ‘onstage’?” “What is ‘offstage’?” “What is ‘real life’?” “What is ‘show-biz’?” “What is ‘natural human behavior’?” “What is ‘acting’?”

David Lynch has expressed his admiration for filmmakers Jacques Tati, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini, writer Franz Kafka (stating “the only artist I felt could be my brother was Kafka”), and artist Francis Bacon. Franz Kafka states that the majority of Stanley Kubrick films are in his top 10, that he really loves Franz Kafka, and that Francis Bacon paints images that are both visually stunning, and emotionally touching. Francis Bacon has also cited the Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka as an inspiration for his works. David Lynch has a love for the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz and frequently makes reference to it in his films, most overtly in Wild at Heart.

An early influence on David Lynch was the book The Art Spirit by American turn-of-the-century artist and teacher Robert Henri. When he was in high school, Bushnell Keeler, an artist who was the stepfather of one of his friends, introduced David Lynch to Robert Henri’s book, which became his bible. As David Lynch said in Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch, “it helped me decide my course for painting — 100 percent right there.” David Lynch, like Robert Henri, moved from rural America to an urban environment to pursue an artistic career. Robert Henri was an urban realist painter, legitimizing every day city life as the subject of his work, much in the same way that David Lynch first drew street scenes. Robert Henri’s work also bridged changing centuries, from America’s agricultural 19th century into the industrial 20th century, much in the same fashion as David Lynch’s films blend the nostalgic happiness of the 50s to the twisted weirdness of the 80s and 90s.

David Lynch’s influences have also included Luis Buñuel, Werner Herzog, Roman Polanski, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Ernst Lubitsch. Some of them have cited David Lynch as an influence themselves, most notably Stanley Kubrick, who stated that he modeled his vision of The Shining (1980) upon that of Eraserhead and who, according to David Lynch’s book Catching the Big Fish, once commented while screening Eraserhead for a small group that it was his favourite film. Mario Bava, the prolific Italian horror filmmaker, has frequently been cited as an influence on David Lynch.

Gardenback: After the success he had enjoyed with “The Grandmother”, David Lynch moved to Beverly Hills to participate in the AFI’s Center for Advanced Film. David Lynch began working on a script for a short film called “Gardenback” in 1970. David Lynch spent the whole year working on a 45-page script. The film was to explore the physical materialisation of what grows inside a man’s head when he desires a woman that he sees. This manifestation metamorphoses into a monster.

Cinematographer/director Caleb Deschanel, who was also at the AFI at the time and wanted to shoot the film, introduced David Lynch to a producer at 20th Century Fox. The studio was interested in making a series of low-budget horror films and wanted to expand “Gardenback” into a feature film. The studio was willing to give David Lynch $50,000 to make it but wanted the 45-page script to be expanded. This involved writing dialogue — something David Lynch had never tried before. David Lynch said in Lynch on Lynch, “What I wrote was pretty much worthless, but something happened inside me about structure, about scenes. And I don’t even know what it was, but it sort of percolated down and became part of me. But the script was pretty much worthless. I knew I’d just watered it down.” Consequently, David Lynch became disenchanted with the project. Some of the elements in “Gardenback” would later surface in Eraserhead, such as its main characters Henry and Mary X.

Dune Messiah: David Lynch was in the process of writing the sequel to film Dune(which was partially adapted from the book), but the box office failure of the 1st film killed the project. From the Inner Views David Lynch interview, “…I was really getting into Dune II. I wrote about half the script, maybe more, and I was really getting excited about it. It was much tighter, a better story.” From a Prevue article from 1984: “Lynch has written two sequel screenplays to Dune – Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, based on Herbert’s succeeding novels – which currently await the author’s approval. Back-to-back lensing is expected if the first film is a success. Although Kyle MacLachlan will portray Paul Atreides in the three Dune spectacles, Lynch promises a different cast each time.”

Untitled animated short, 1969 or 1970: Though David Lynch doesn’t remember what the film itself was about, he distinctly recalls that he was paid to produce a short film and the negatives came back from the lab messed up.

Red Dragon: Before making Blue Velvet, the film’s producer, Richard Roth, approached David Lynch with another project — an adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel, Red Dragon. David Lynch was turned off by the content of the book and Roth subsequently took the project to Michael Mann who went on to direct the film as Manhunter (1986).
The Lemurians: This was a TV show that David Lynch was going to do with Mark Frost based on the continent of Lemuria. Their premise for the show was that Lemurian essence was leaking from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and becomes a threat to the world. It was intended to be a comedy but when David Lynch and Mark Frost tried to pitch this show to NBC, the network rejected it.

Goddess: When David Lynch and Mark Frost first met, they began working on a project about Marilyn Monroe. David Lynch had been fascinated by the actress’ life and met with Anthony Summers who wrote a biography of the same name. The more they worked on it, the more they became embroiled in conspiracy theories involving Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys which turned David Lynch off the project. Twin Peaks was created soon after, which has similarities with the story of Marilyn Monroe.

One Saliva Bubble: This was a comedy that David Lynch co-wrote with Mark Frost and intended to direct with Steve Martin and Martin Short starring. It was set in Kansas. Robert Engels describes the premise of the film in Lynch on Lynch: “It’s about an electric bubble from a computer that bursts over this town and changes people’s personalities – like these 5 cattlemen, who suddenly think they’re Chinese gymnasts. It’s insane!”

The White Hotel: David Lynch was attached to Dennis Potter’s adaptation of D.M. Thomas’ novel during the late 1980s.

I’ll Test My Log With Every Branch of Knowledge: Around the time that David Lynch and Catherine Coulson made “The Amputee”, he had an idea for a TV show. David Lynch told Chris Rodley in Lynch on Lynch, “It’s a half-hour television show starring Catherine as the lady with the log. Her husband has been killed in a forest fire and his ashes are on the mantelpiece, with his pipes and his sock hat. He was a woodsman. But the fireplace is completely boarded up. Because she now is very afraid of fire.” This project never got off the ground, but when it came time to film the pilot for Twin Peaks, Lynch remembered this idea and called Coulson up to appear as the Log Lady.

Metamorphosis: This was intended to be an adaptation of the story written by Franz Kafka. David Lynch has expressed on several accounts his desire to film the story of Metamorphosis. David Lynch has even written a script. The main reason that David Lynch has not filmed it is a matter of money and technology involving the transformation of a man into a beetle.

The Dream of the Bovine: David Lynch and Robert Engels wrote the screenplay for this film after Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. According to Engels in Lynch on Lynch, the film was about “three guys, who used to be cows, living in Van Nuys and trying to assimilate their lives.”

David Lynch speaking in Washington D.C., 23 January, 2007 David Lynch tends to keep his personal life private and rarely comments on his films. However, he does attend public events and film festivals when he or his films are nominated/awarded. Despite this belief, the DVD release of Inland Empire is divided into chapters, with David Lynch explaining why in the “Stories” feature. In addition, on his 2 DVD collections of short films, David Lynch provides short introductions to each film.

In the 1980s, David Lynch expressed that he liked Ronald Reagan and at one point he had dinner with the Reagans at the White House, though he sees himself as a Libertarian or Democrat.

In the “Stories” feature on the Eraserhead DVD, David Lynch mentions that he ate French fries and grilled cheese almost every day while on the set. Despite his professional accomplishments, David Lynch once characterised himself simply as “Eagle Scout, Missoula, Montana”.

In 1967, David Lynch married Peggy Lentz in Chicago, Illinois. They had 1 child, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, born in 1968, who currently works as a film director. They filed for divorce in 1974. On 21 June, 1977, David Lynch married Mary Fisk, and the couple had 1 child, Austin Jack Lynch, born in 1982. They divorced in 1987, and David Lynch began dating Isabella Rossellini, after filming Blue Velvet.

David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini broke up in 1991, and David Lynch developed a relationship with Mary Sweeney, with whom he had 1 son, Riley Lynch, in 1992.

Mary Sweeney also worked as long-time film editor/producer to David Lynch and co-wrote and produced The Straight Story. The 2 married in May 2006, but divorced later in July.

In 2 December, 2005, David Lynch told the Washington Post that he had been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day, for 20 minutes each time, for 32 years. David Lynch was initiated into TM on 1 July, 1973, at 11:00 a.m., in a TM Center at Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles by a teacher he thought “looked like Doris Day”. Since then he never missed a programme. David Lynch advocates its use in bringing peace to the world. In July 2005, he launched the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and Peace to fund research about TM’s positive effects, and he promotes the technique and his vision by an ongoing tour of college campuses that began in September 2005. A streaming video of one of David Lynch’s public performances is available at his foundation’s website.

David Lynch is working for the establishment of 7 “peace palaces”, each with 8000 salaried people practicing advanced techniques of TM, “pumping peace for the world.” David Lynch estimates the cost at $7,000,000,000. As of December 2005, he had spent $400,000 of his own money and raised $1,000,000 in donations from a handful of wealthy individuals and organisations. In December 2006, the New York Times reported that he continued to have that goal.

David Lynch has written a book, Catching the Big Fish (Tarcher/Penguin 2006), which discusses the impact of TM on his creative process. David Lynch is donating all author’s royalties to the David Lynch Foundation.

David Lynch maintains an interest in other art forms. David Lynch described the 20th century artist Francis Bacon as “to me, the main guy, the number 1 kinda hero painter”. David Lynch continues to present art installations and stage designs. In his spare time, he also designs and builds furniture. David Lynch started building furniture from his own designs as far back as his art school days. David Lynch built sheds during the making of Eraserhead, and many of the sets and furniture used in that movie are made by David Lynch. David Lynch also made some of the furniture for Fred Madison’s house in Lost Highway.

David Lynch was the subject of a major art retrospective at the Fondation Cartier, Paris from March 03-27 May 2007. The show was entitled The Air is on Fire and included numerous paintings, photographs, drawings, alternative films and sound work. New site-specific art installations were created specially for the exhibition. A series of events accompanied the exhibition including live performances and concerts. Some of David Lynch’s art include photographs of dissected chickens and other animals as a “Build your own Chicken” toy ad.

Between 1983 and 1992, David Lynch wrote and drew a weekly comic strip called The Angriest Dog in the World for the L.A. Reader. The drawings in the panels never change — just the captions. The comic strip originated from a time in David Lynch’s life when he was filled with anger.

David Lynch has also been involved in a number of musical projects, many of them related to his films. Most notably he produced and wrote lyrics for Julee Cruise’s 1st 2 albums, Floating into the Night (1989) and The Voice of Love (1993), in collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti who composed the music and also produced. David Lynch has also worked on the 1998 Jocelyn Montgomery album Lux Vivens. David Lynch has also composed bits of music for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Mulholland Drive, and Rabbits. In 2001 he released BlueBob, a rock album performed by David Lynch and John Neff. The album is notable for David Lynch’s unusual guitar playing style: he plays “upside down and backwards, like a lap guitar”, and relies heavily on effects pedals. Most recently David Lynch has composed several pieces for Inland Empire, including 2 songs, “Ghost of Love” and “Walkin’ on the Sky” in which he makes his public debut as a singer.

David Lynch designed his personal website, a site exclusive to paying members, where he posts short videos and his absurdist series Dumbland, plus interviews and other items. The site also features a daily weather report, where David Lynch gives a brief description of the weather in Los Angeles, where he resides. An absurd ringtone (“I like to kill deer”) from the website was a common sound bite on The Howard Stern Show in early 2006.

David Lynch is an avid coffee drinker and even has his own line of special organic blends available for purchase on his website. Called “David Lynch Signature Cup”, the coffee has been advertised via flyers included with several recent Lynch-related DVD releases, including Inland Empire and the Gold Box edition of Twin Peaks. The self-mocking tag-line for the brand is “It’s all in the beans … and I’m just full of beans.”

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more celebrities featuring shortly …………….

Bookmark and Share

Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Walter Geikie

Walter Geikie was born on 10 November, 1795 in Edinburgh, Scotland and died on 1 August, 1837, and was interred in the Greyfriars kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Walter Geikie was a Scottish Painter, in his 2nd year he was attacked by a nervous fever by which he permanently lost the faculty of hearing, but through the careful attention of his father he was enabled to obtain a good education. Before he had the advantage of the instruction of a master he had attained considerable proficiency in sketching both figures and landscapes from nature, and in 1812 he was admitted into the drawing academy of the board of Scottish manufactures. Walter Geikie 1st exhibited in 1815, and was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1831, and a fellow in 1834.  Owing to his want of feeling for colour, Walter Geikie was not a successful painter in oils, but he sketched in India ink with great truth and humor the scenes and characters of Scottish lower-class life in his native city. A series of etchings which exhibit very high excellence were published by him in 1829-1831 and a collection of 81 of these was republished posthumously in 1841, with a biographical introduction by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, Bart.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more celebrities featuring shortly …………….

Bookmark and Share

Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend John Brewster Jr.

John Brewster Jr. Was born on 30 May or 31 May, 1766 in Hampton, Connecticut, USA and died in 1854. John was a prolific, deaf itinerant painter who produced many charming portraits of well-off New England families, especially their children. John lived much of the latter half of his life in Buxton, Maine, USA, recording the faces of much of Maine’s elite society of his time.

According to the website of the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, “John was not an artist who incidentally was Deaf but rather a Deaf artist, one in a long tradition that owes many of its features and achievements to the fact that Deaf people are, as scholars have noted, visual people.”

John’s father, Dr. John Brewster Sr., and his stepmother, Ruth Avery Brewster, c. 1795–1800 Little is known about John’s childhood or youth. John was the 3rd child born in Hampton, Connecticut, to Dr. John and Mary (Durkee) Brewster. John’s mother died when he was 17. John’s father remarried Ruth Avery of Brooklyn, Connecticut, and they went on to have four more children.

John Brewster Sr., a doctor and descendant of William Brewster, the Pilgrim leader, was a member of the Connecticut General Assembly and also active in the local church.

Unidentified Boy with Book (1810) by John Brewster, Jr. (from the collection of the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut) One of the younger John’s “more touching and polished full-length portraits” is of his father and stepmother, according to Ben Genocchio, who wrote a review of an exhibition of John’s portraits in the New York Times. They are shown at home in conventional poses and wearing refined but not opulent dress in a modestly furnished room. John’s mother sits behind her husband, reading while he is writing. “She stares directly at the viewer, though softly, even submissively, while her husband stares off into the distance as if locked in some deep thought.”

As a deaf from birth, and growing up in a time when no standardised sign language for the deaf existed, the young John probably interacted with few people outside of the circle of his family and friends, with whom he would have learned to communicate. A kindly minister taught him to paint, and by the 1790s he was traveling through Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and eastern New York State, taking advantage of his family connections to offer his services to the wealthy merchant class.

John’s younger brother, Dr. Royal Brewster, moved to Buxton, Maine in late 1795. The artist either moved up with him or followed shortly afterward and painted likenesses in and around Portland in between trips back to Connecticut.

James Prince and Son, William Henry (1801) by John Brewster, Jr. Prince was a wealthy merchant from Newburyport, a shipping center in Massachusetts. The painter included numerous expensive luxuries to show Prince as wealthy and a gentleman: Curtains and a fine floor indicated wealth; the bookcase with books and the desk suggest learning. The boy is symbolised as entering world of adults by his holding a letter. (from the collection of the Historical Society of Old Newbury) John probably communicated with others using pantomime and a small amount of writing. In this way, despite his deafness, John managed the business of arranging poses along with negotiating prices and artistic ideas with his sitters. As an itinerant portraitist working in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the United States, he would travel great distances, often staying in unfamiliar places for months at a time.

John’s deafness may have given John some advantages in portrait painting, according to the Florence Griswold Museum exhibit web page: “Unable to hear and speak, John focused his energy and ability to capture minute differences in facial expression. John also greatly emphasised the gaze of his sitters, as eye contact was such a critical part of communication among the Deaf. Scientific studies have proven that since Deaf people rely on visual cues for communication [they] can differentiate subtle differences in facial expressions much better than hearing people.”

John’s early, large portraits show the influence of the work of Ralph Earl (1751–1801), another itinerant painter. Paintings by the 2 artists (especially in John’s early work) show similar scale, costumes, composition and settings, Paul D’Ambrosio has pointed out in a catalog (2005) for a traveling exhibition of John’s work, “A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster Jr.”

Ralph was influenced by the 18th century English “Grand Manner” style of painting, with its dramatic, grand, very rhetorical style (exemplified in many portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Ralph and John refashioned the style, changing it from lofty and grand to more humble and casual settings.

Mother with Son (Lucy Knapp Mygatt and Son, George, of Danbury, Connecticut), 1799 In the early 19th century, John habitually painted half-length portraits which saved him labor, saved his patrons money and “were better suited to his limited abilities,” according to Genocchio. Some of the paintings are almost identical, down to the same clothes and furniture, with only the heads setting them apart.

In 1805 his brother, Dr. Royal Brewster, finished construction of his Federal style house in Buxton, and John Brewster moved in. For the rest of his life, he lived in the home with his brother’s family.

By about 1805, John had his own style of portraying children in full length, with skimpy garments or nightclothes, soft, downy hair and big, cute eyes for a sweet, appealing affect but, the perspective problems remained, with the figures seeming out of scale with their environment.

At about this time the artist also began to sign and date his paintings more frequently. John also moved away from the large-format Grand Manner-influenced style and turned to smaller, more intimate portraits in which he focused more attention on the faces of his subjects.

In the years just before 1817, John traveled farther for clients as his career flourished.

Francis O. Watts with Bird (1805) by John Brewster, Jr. (from the collection of the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York) Typical of  John Brewster’s portraits is “Francis O. Watts with Bird” (1805), showing “an innocent looking boy with manly features” wearing a nightslip and holding a bird on his finger and with a string. The surrounding landscape is “strangely low and wildly out of scale—the young boy towers over trees and dwarfs distant mountains. John looks like a giant,” Genocchio has written. Or he looks as if the viewer must be lying down, looking up at the child from the ground. John always struggled with the relationship of his figures to the background.

A more positive view of the portrait comes from the Web page about the 2006 exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum website: “Brewster’s serene and ethereal portrait of Francis O. Watts is one of his most compelling portraits of a child. In this work—particularly Francis’ white dress and the peaceful landscape he inhabits—modern viewers often feel a palpable sense of the silence that was John’s world.

“The bird on the string symbolises mortality because only after the child’s death could the bird go free, just like the child’s soul. Infant mortality was high during John’s time and artists employed this image often in association with children.”

Moses Quinby (c. 1810–1815). Moses was a successful lawyer from Stroudwater, Maine. Moses was probably painted when John was traveling in Maine. From 1817 to 1820, John interrupted his career to learn sign language, a newly developed help for the deaf, at the Connecticut Asylum in Hartford, now known as the American School for the Deaf.

John, at the age of 51, was by far the oldest in a class of 7 students, the average age of which was 19. It was the 1st class that attended the school and witnessed the birth of American Sign Language (ASL).

When John returned to Buxton and to his portraits, “he seems to have taken more care when painting the faces of his subjects,” Genocchio wrote,” resulting in portraits that show an increased sensitivity to the characters of his subjects.”

After the 1830s, little is known of John Snr’s work or of John Jnr.’s Work.

Reverend Daniel Marrett (1831). An example of  John portraits from his late career, many of which show great depth and strength of characterisation. Reverend Daniel Marrett’s furrowed brow and chisled features convey the seriousness of his convictions. The paper he holds quotes Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet thy God.” (from the collection of Historic New England/SPNEA) John “created hauntingly beautiful images of American life during the formative period of the nation,” according to a page at the Fenimore Art Museum website devoted to a 2005–2006 exhibition of the artist’s work. “Working in a style that emphasised simpler settings [than the “Grand Manner” style], along with broad, flat areas of colour, and soft, expressive facial features, John achieved a directness and intensity of vision rarely equaled.”

The Fenimore website also says, “His extant portraits show his ability to produce delicate and sensitive likenesses in full-size or miniature, and in oil on canvas or ivory. John was especially successful in capturing childhood innocence in his signature full-length likenesses of young children.

The website says Brewster left “an invaluable record of his era and a priceless artistic legacy.”

According to the anonymous writer of the Florence Griswold Museum’s web page about the same exhibit, “Brewster’s deafness may also have shaped his mature portrait style, which centers on his emphasis on the face of his sitters, particularly the gaze. He managed to achieve a penetrating grasp of personality in likenesses that engage the viewer directly. Brewster combined a muted palette that highlights flesh tones with excellent draftsmanship to draw attention to the eyes of his sitters. The importance of direct eye contact to a deaf person cannot be overstated.”[2]

The same writer also says, “Brewster was one of the greatest folk painters in American history as one of the key figures in the Connecticut style of American Folk Portraiture. In addition, Brewster’s paintings serve as a key part of Maine history. Brewster was the most prolific painter of the Maine elite, documenting through the portraits details of the life of Maine’s federal elite.”

Genocchio, reviewing the exhibit for the New York Times, took a dimmer view, noting John’s difficulty with painting backgrounds but admiring his “sweetly appealing” paintings of children.

Some individual works

Unidentified Woman in a Landscape (c. 1805) (from the collection of the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York)Boy with Book (1810); unidentified subject (Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut, collection)

Francis O. Watts with Bird (1805) (Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, collection)

Dr. John Brewster and Ruth Avery Brewster (c. 1795–1800) (Old Sturbridge Village collection)

Mother with Son (Lucy Knapp Mygatt and Son, George) (1799) (Palmer Museum of Art of the Pennsylvania State University collection)

James Prince and Son, William Henry (1801) (Historical Society of Old Newbury collection)

Woman in a Landscape (unidentified subject ) (c. 1805) (Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, collection)

Moses Quinby (c. 1810–1815) (Bowdoin College Museum of Art collection)

Reverend Daniel Marrett, 1831 (Historic New England/SPNEA collection)

Exhibits

“A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster Jr.,” Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, April 1 to December 31, 2005;

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut, June 3 through September 10, 2006

(Florence Griswold Museum exhibition sponsored in connection with The American School for the Deaf). The show, with some augmentation, was at the American Folk Art Museum, New York City, from October 2006 to January 7, 2007.

The Saco Museum in Saco, Maine, is believed to hold the largest collection of John Brewster, Jr., paintings, including the only known full-length (74 5/8 inches long) adult portraits, Colonel Thomas Cutts and Mrs. Thomas Cutts.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more celebrities featuring shortly …………….

Bookmark and Share

Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Granville Redmond

Granville Richard Seymour Redmond was born on 9 March, 1871 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died on 24 May, 1935 in Los Angeles.

Granville Redmond was an American Painter, born to a hearing family. Granville Redmond contracted Scarlet Fever at around 2 1/2 to the age of 3; when he recovered, he was found to be deaf. This may have prompted his family’s decision to move from the East Coast to San Jose, California: the possibility for his education at the Berkeley School for the Deaf.

Granville Redmond attended the Berkeley School for the Deaf (later the California School for the Deaf) from 1879 to 1890 where his artistic talents were recognized and encouraged. There his teacher Theophilus d’Estrella taught him painting, drawing and pantomime.

When he graduated from CSD, Granville Redmond enrolled at another CSD: the California School of Design in San Francisco, where he worked for 3 years with teachers such as Arthur Matthews and Amedee Joullion. Granville Redmond famously won the W. E. Brown Medal of Excellence. Granville Redmond associated with many other artists, including Gottardo Piazzoni and Giuseppe Cadenasso. Piazzoni learned American Sign Language and he and Granville Redmond were lifelong friends. They lived together in Parkfield, California, and Tiburon.

1893 saw Granville Redmond win a scholarship from California School of the Deaf and from the School of Design, which made it possible for him to study in Paris at the Academie Julian under teachers Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. At the Academie Julian, he roomed with sculptor Douglas Tilden, famous Deaf sculptor and another graduate of the California School for the Deaf. In 1895 in Paris his painting Matin d’Hiver, was accepted for the Paris Salon.

In 1898, he returned to California and settled in Los Angeles, where he painted many beautiful beach scenes. Granville Redmond was married in 1899 to Carrie Ann Jean, a former student of the Illinois School for the Deaf. Together they had three children. It is not known if they were Deaf or could hear.

While living in Los Angeles, he became friends with Charles Chaplin, who admired the natural expressiveness of a Deaf person using American Sign Language. Charles Chaplin asked Granville Redmond to help him develop the techniques Charles Chaplin later used in his silent films. Charles Chaplin, impressed with Granville Redmond’s skill gave granville Redmond a studio on the movie lot, collected his paintings, and sponsored him in silent acting roles – the sculptor in City Lights for example.

During this time Granville Redmond did not neglect his painting. Through Charles Chaplin he met Los Angeles neighbor artists Elmer Wachtel and Norman St. Clair. They showed works at the Spring Exhibition held in San Francisco in 1904. By 1905 Granville Redmond was receiving considerable recognition as a leading landscape painter and bold colorist. Granville Redmond’s artwork was sometimes compared to Matisse; he loved painting flowers and dark, moody scenes.

Granville Redmond’s work is in a variety of collections:

Irvine Museum, California

Laguna Art Museum, California

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

De Young Museum, the Bancroft Library, San Francisco

California School for the Deaf

New York City Museum, New York

Oakland Museum, California

Granville Redmond’s Awards:

Gold Medal, W. E. Brown Award, California School of Design, 1891

Medal, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904

Silver Medal, Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition, Seattle, Washington, 1909

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more celebrities featuring shortly …………….

Bookmark and Share

Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Francisco Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was born on 30 March, 1746 in Fuendetodos, Spain, in the kingdom of Aragón and died on 16 April, 1828 in Bordeaux of ill health at the age of 82.

Francisco Goya was an Aragonese Spanish painter and printmaker. Francisco Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown and a chronicler of history. Francisco Goya has been regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and as the first of the moderns. The subversive and subjective element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet and Picasso.

Francisco Goya was born to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. Francisco Goya spent his childhood in Fuendetodos, where his family lived in a house bearing the family crest of his mother. Francisco Goya’s father earned his living as a gilder. About 1749, the family bought a house in the city of Zaragoza and some years later moved into it. Francisco Goya attended school at Escuelas Pias, where he formed a close friendship with Martin Zapater, and their correspondence over the years became valuable material for biographies of Francisco Goya. At the age of 14, he entered apprenticeship with the painter José Luján.

Francisco Goya later moved to Madrid where he studied with Anton Raphael Mengs, a painter who was popular with Spanish royalty. Francisco Goya clashed with his master, and his examinations were unsatisfactory. Francisco Goya submitted entries for the Royal Academy of Fine Art in 1763 and 1766, but was denied entrance.

Francisco Goya then journeyed to Rome, where in 1771 he won 2nd prize in a painting competition organized by the City of Parma. Later that year, he returned to Zaragoza and painted a part of the cupola of the Basilica of the Pillar, frescoes of the oratory of the cloisters of Aula Dei, and the frescoes of the Sobradiel Palace. Francisco Goya studied with Francisco Bayeu y Subías and his painting began to show signs of the delicate tonalities for which he became famous.

Francisco Goya married Bayeu’s sister Josefa in 1774. Francisco Goya’s marriage to Josefa (he nicknamed her “Pepa”), and Francisco Bayeu’s membership of the Royal Academy of Fine Art (from the year 1765) helped him to procure work with the Royal Tapestry Workshop. There, over the course of 5 years, he designed some 42 patterns, many of which were used to decorate (and insulate) the bare stone walls of El Escorial and the Palacio Real de El Pardo, the newly built residences of the Spanish monarchs. This brought his artistic talents to the attention of the Spanish monarchs who later would give him access to the royal court. Francisco Goya also painted a canvas for the altar of the Church of San Francisco El Grande, which led to his appointment as a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Art.

In 1783, the Count of Floridablanca, a favorite of King Carlos III, commissioned him to paint his portrait. Francisco Goya also became friends with Crown Prince Don Luis, and lived in his house. Francisco Goya’s circle of patrons grew to include the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, whom he painted, the King and other notable people of the kingdom.

After the death of Charles III in 1788 and revolution in France in 1789, during the reign of Charles IV, Francisco Goya reached his peak of popularity with royalty.

After contracting a high fever in 1792 Francisco Goya was left deaf, and he became withdrawn and introspective. During the 5 years he spent recuperating, he read a great deal about the French Revolution and its philosophy. The bitter series of aquatinted etchings that resulted were published in 1799 under the title Caprichos. The dark visions depicted in these prints are partly explained by his caption, “The sleep of reason produces monsters”. Yet these are not solely bleak in nature and demonstrate the artist’s sharp satirical wit, particularly evident in etchings such as Hunting for Teeth. Additionally, one can discern a thread of the macabre running through Francisco Goya’s work, even in his earlier tapestry cartoons.

The Family of Charles IV, 1800. Théophile Gautier described the figures as looking like “the corner baker and his wife after they won the lottery”.

In 1786 Francisco Goya was appointed painter to Charles III, and in 1789 was made court painter to Charles IV. In 1799 he was appointed First Court Painter with a salary of 50,000 reales and 500 ducats for a coach. Francisco Goya worked on the cupola of the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida; he painted the King and the Queen, royal family pictures, portraits of the Prince of the Peace and many other nobles. Francisco Goya’s portraits are notable for their disinclination to flatter, and in the case of The Family of Charles IV, the lack of visual diplomacy is remarkable.

Francisco Goya received orders from many friends within the Spanish nobility. Among those from whom he procured portrait commissions were Pedro de Álcantara Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and his wife María Josefa de la Soledad, 9th Duchess of Osuna, María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva Alvarez de Toledo, 13th Duchess of Alba (universally known simply as the “Duchess of Alba”), and her husband José Alvarez de Toledo y Gonzaga, 13th Duke of Alba, and María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos.

Saturn Devouring His Son, 1819. The title, like all those given to the Black Paintings, was assigned by others after Francisco Goya’s death. As French forces invaded Spain during the Peninsular War (1808–1814), the new Spanish court received him as had its predecessors.

When Josefa died in 1812, Francisco Goya was painting The Charge of the Mamelukes and The Third of May 1808, and preparing the series of prints known as The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra).

King Ferdinand VII came back to Spain but relations with Francisco Goya were not cordial. In 1814 Francisco Goya was living with his housekeeper Doña Leocadia and her illegitimate daughter, Rosario Weiss; the young woman studied painting with Francisco Goya, who may have been her father. Francisco Goya continued to work incessantly on portraits, pictures of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, lithographs, pictures of tauromachy, and more. With the idea of isolating himself, he bought a house near Manzanares, which was known as the Quinta del Sordo (roughly, “House of the Deaf Man”, titled after its previous owner and not Francisco Goya himself). There he made the Black Paintings.

Francisco Goya left Spain in May 1824 for Bordeaux, where he settled, in Paris.

Francisco Goya painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII. Francisco Goya’s themes range from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war and corpses. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern physicians suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since 1792. Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy. The style of these Black Paintings prefigure the expressionist movement. Francisco Goya often painted himself into the foreground.

2 of Francisco Goya’s best known paintings are The Nude Maja (La maja desnuda) and The Clothed Maja (La maja vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed, respectively. Francisco Goya painted La maja vestida after outrage in Spanish society over the previous Desnuda. Without a pretense to allegorical or mythological meaning, the painting was “the first totally profane life-size female nude in Western art”. Francisco Goya refused to paint clothes on her, and instead created a new painting.

The identity of the Majas is uncertain. The most popularly cited subjects are the Duchess of Alba, with whom Francisco Goya is thought to have had an affair, and the mistress of Manuel de Godoy, who subsequently owned the paintings. Neither theory has been verified, and it remains as likely that the paintings represent an idealised composite. In 1808 all Godoy’s property was seized by Ferdinand VI after his fall from power and exile, and in 1813 the Inquisition confiscated both works as ‘obscene’, returning them in 1836.

In a period of convalescence during 1793–1794, Francisco Goya completed a set of 11 small pictures painted on tin; the pictures known as Fantasy and Invention mark a significant change in his art. These paintings no longer represent the world of popular carnival, but rather a dark, dramatic realm of fantasy and nightmare. Courtyard with Lunatics is a horrifying and imaginary vision of loneliness, fear and social alienation, a departure from the rather more superficial treatment of mental illness in the works of earlier artists such as Hogarth. In this painting, the ground, sealed by masonry blocks and iron gate, is occupied by patients and a single warden. The patients are variously staring, sitting, posturing, wrestling, grimacing or disciplining themselves. The top of the picture vanishes with sunlight, emphasizing the nightmarish scene below.

This picture can be read as an indictment of the widespread punitive treatment of the insane, who were confined with criminals, put in iron manacles, and subjected to physical punishment. And this intention is to be taken into consideration since one of the essential goals of the enlightenment was to reform the prisons and asylums, a subject common in the writings of Voltaire and others. The condemnation of brutality towards prisoners (whether they were criminals or insane) was the subject of many of Goya’s later paintings.

As he completed this painting, Francisco Goya was himself undergoing a physical and mental breakdown. It was a few weeks after the French declaration of war on Spain, and Francisco Goya’s illness was developing. A contemporary reported, “the noises in his head and deafness aren’t improving, yet his vision is much better and he is back in control of his balance.” Francisco Goya’s symptoms may indicate a prolonged viral encephalitis or possibly a series of miniature strokes resulting from high blood pressure and affecting hearing and balance centers in the brain. Other postmortem diagnostic assessment points toward paranoid dementia due to unknown brain trauma (perhaps due to the unknown illness which he reported). If this is the case, from here on – we see an insidious assault of his faculties, manifesting as paranoid features in his paintings, culminating in his black paintings and especially Saturn Devouring His Sons.

In 1799 Francisco Goya published a series of 80 prints titled Caprichos depicting what he called

“ …the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual. ”

In The Third of May, 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, Francisco Goya attempted to “perpetuate by the means of his brush the most notable and heroic actions of our glorious insurrection against the Tyrant of Europe” The painting does not show an incident that Francisco Goya witnessed; rather it was meant as more abstract commentary.

In later life Francisco Goya bought a house, called Quinta del Sordo (“Deaf Man’s House”), and painted many unusual paintings on canvas and on the walls, including references to witchcraft and war. One of these is the famous work Saturn Devouring His Sons (known informally in some circles as Devoration or Saturn Eats His Child), which displays a Greco-Roman mythological scene of the god Saturn consuming a child, a reference to Spain’s ongoing civil conflicts. Moreover, the painting has been seen as “the most essential to our understanding of the human condition in modern times, just as Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling is essential to understanding the tenor of the 16th century”.

What more can one do?, from The Disasters of War, 1812-15. This painting is 1 of 14 in a series known as the Black Paintings. After his death the wall paintings were transferred to canvas and remain some of the best examples of the later period of Francisco Goya’s life when, deafened and driven half-mad by what was probably an encephalitis of some kind, he decided to free himself from painterly strictures of the time and paint whatever nightmarish visions came to him. Many of these works are in the Prado museum in Madrid.

In the 1810s, Francisco Goya created a set of aquatint prints titled The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra) which depict scenes from the Peninsular War. The scenes are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction. The prints were not published until 1863, 35 years after Francisco Goya’s death.

The findings of research published since 2003 have raised questions regarding the authenticity of some of Francisco Goya’s late works. One study claims that the Black Paintings were applied to walls that did not exist in Francisco Goya’s home before he left for France. In 2008 the Prado Museum reverted the traditional attribution of The Colossus, and expressed doubts over the authenticity of 3 other paintings attributed to Francisco Goya as well.

Remembrance plaque for Francisco Goya in Bordeaux Enrique Granados composed a piano suite (1911) and later an opera (1916), both called Goyescas, inspired by the artist’s paintings. Gian Carlo Menotti wrote a biographical opera about him titled Goya (1986), commissioned by Plácido Domingo, who originated the role; this production has been presented on television. Francisco Goya also inspired Michael Nyman’s opera Facing Goya (2000), and Francisco Goya is the central character in Clive Barker’s play Colossus (1995).

Several films portray Francisco Goya’s life. These include a short film, Goya (1948), Goya, Historia de una Soledad (1971), Goya in Bordeaux (1999), Volavérunt (1999) and Goya’s Ghosts (2006).

In 1988 American musical theatre composer Maury Yeston released a studio cast album of his own musical, Goya: A Life In Song, in which Plácido Domingo again starred as Goya.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more celebrities featuring shortly …………….

Bookmark and Share

Dementia Series-Disabled Legend Willem De Kooning

Willem de Kooning was born on 24 April, 1904 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and died on 19 March, 1997. Willem De Kooning was an abstract expressionist painter.

In the post-World War II era, Willem de Kooning painted in a style that came to be referred to variously as Abstract expressionism, Action painting, and the New York School. Other painters that developed this school of painting include Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston and Clyfford Still among others.

Willem De Kooning’s parents, Leendert de Kooning and Cornelia Nobel, were divorced when he was about 5 years old, and he was raised by his mother and a stepfather. Willem De Kooning’s early artistic training included 8 years at the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques. In the 1920s he worked as an assistant to the art director of a Rotterdam department store.

In 1926, Willem De Kooning entered the United States as a stowaway on a British freighter, the SS Shelly, to Newport News, Virginia. Willem De Kooning then went by ship to Boston, and took a train from Boston to Rhode Island, and eventually settled in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he supported himself as a house painter until moving to a studio in Manhattan in 1927. In 1929 he met the artist and critic John D. Graham, who would become an important stimulus and supporter. Willem De Kooning also met the painter Arshile Gorky, who became one of Willem De Kooning’s closest and most influential friends.

In October 1935, Willem De Kooning began to work on the WPA (Works Progress Administration) Federal Art Project, and he won the Logan Medal of the arts. Willem De Kooning was employed by this work-relief program until July 1937, when he resigned because of his alien status. This period of about 2 years provided the artist, who had been supporting himself during the early Depression by commercial jobs, with his first opportunity to devote full time to creative work. Willem De Kooning worked on both the easel-painting and mural divisions of the project (the several murals he designed were never executed).

In 1938, probably under the influence of Gorky, Willem De Kooning embarked on a series of male figures, including Two Men Standing, Man, and Seated Figure (Classic Male), while simultaneously embarking on a more purist series of lyrically coloured abstractions, such as Pink Landscape and Elegy. As his work progressed, the heightened colours and elegant lines of the abstractions began to creep into the more figurative works, and the coincidence of figures and abstractions continued well into the 1940s. This period includes the representational but somewhat geometricized Woman and Standing Man, along with numerous untitled abstractions whose biomorphic forms increasingly suggest the presence of figures. By about 1945 the two tendencies seemed to fuse perfectly in Pink Angels.

In 1938, Willem De Kooning met Elaine Marie Fried, later known as Elaine de Kooning, whom he married in 1943. Elaine also became a significant artist. During the 1940s and thereafter, he became increasingly identified with the Abstract Expressionist movement and was recognized as one of its leaders in the mid-1950s. Willem had his first one-man show, which consisted of his black-and-white enamel compositions, at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York in 1948 and taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1948 and at the Yale School of Art in 1950/51.

In 1946, too poor to buy artists’ pigments, he turned to black and white household enamels to paint a series of large abstractions; of these works, Light in August (c. 1946) and Black Friday (1948) are essentially black with white elements, whereas Zurich (1947) and Mailbox (1947/48) are white with black. Developing out of these works in the period after his first show were complex, agitated abstractions such as Asheville (1948/49), Attic (1949), and Excavation (1950; Art Institute of Chicago), which reintroduced colour and seem to sum up with taut decisiveness the problems of free-associative composition he had struggled with for many years.

Willem De Kooning had painted women regularly in the early 1940s and again from 1947 to 1949. The biomorphic shapes of his early abstractions can be interpreted as female symbols. But it was not until 1950 that he began to explore the subject of women exclusively. In the summer of that year he began Woman I (located at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City), which went through innumerable metamorphoses before it was finished in 1952.

Willem de Kooning, Woman III, (1953), private collectionDuring this period he also created other paintings of women. These works were shown at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1953 and caused a sensation, chiefly because they were figurative when most of his fellow Abstract Expressionists were painting abstractly and because of their blatant technique and imagery. The appearance of aggressive brushwork and the use of high-key colours combine to reveal a woman all too congruent with some of modern man’s most widely held sexual fears. The toothy snarls, overripe, pendulous breasts, vacuous eyes, and blasted extremities imaged the darkest Freudian insights. Some of these paintings also seemed to hearken back to early Mesopotamian / Akkadian works, with the large, almost “all-seeing” eyes.

The Woman’ paintings II through VI (1952-53) are all variants on this theme, as are Woman and Bicycle (1953; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) and Two Women in the Country (1954). The deliberate vulgarity of these paintings contrasts with the French painter Jean Dubuffet’s no less harsh Corps de Dame series of 1950, in which the female, formed with a rich topography of earth colours, relates more directly to universal symbols.

From the late 1950s to the early 1960s, Willem De Kooning entered a new phase of nearly pure abstractions more related to landscape than to the human figure. These paintings, such as “Bolton Landing” (1957) and “Door to the River” (1960) bear broad brushstrokes and calligraphic tendencies similar to works of his contemporary Franz Kline.

In 1963, Willem De Kooning moved permanently to East Hampton, Long Island, and returned to depicting women while also referencing the landscape in such paintings as Woman, Sag harbor and Clam Diggers.

Willem de Kooning was diagnosed with, in all probability, Alzheimer’s disease. After his wife, Elaine, died on February 1, 1989, his daughter, Lisa, and his lawyer, John Eastman were granted guardianship over Willem De Kooning. As the style of his later works continued to evolve into early 1989, his vintage works drew increasing profits; at Sotheby’s auctions Pink Lady (1944) sold for US$3.6 million in 1987 and Interchange (1955) brought $20.6 million in 1989.

There is much debate over the relevance and significance of his 1980s paintings, many of which became clean, sparse, and almost graphic, while alluding to the biomorphic lines of his early works. Some have said his very last works, most of which have never been exhibited, present a new direction of compositional complexity and daring color juxtapositions. Some speculate that his mental condition and attempts to recover from a life of alcoholism had rendered him unable to carry out the mastery indicated in his early works, while others see these late works as boldly prophetic of directions that some current painters continue to pursue. Unfortunately, gossip has tainted the scant critical commentary afforded these last works, which have yet to be seriously assessed.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more Celebrities featuring Shortly ………….

Bookmark and Share