Thursday, March 31, 2011

Updated 'Brave' Concept Art...

Just an extra image that's been released to show a little more of the main character.  It'll be interesting to see what they do with it especially as the lead character is female.

The Supplement: Odd Nerdrum

“The Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum is one of the greatest painters of the century. Unfortunately, according to his detractors, the century in question is the seventeenth ... His admirers praise him for his superb Old Master technique, while his critics condemn him as hopelessly reactionary. His work calls into question all our customary narratives about art history, and especially the modernist dogma that the artist can be creative only by turning his back on the past.

Nerdrum has openly acknowledged his debt to the Old Masters. He uses heavy layers of paint to create chiaroscuro effects reminiscent of Caravaggio and Rembrandt, and he also continually recalls the achievement of the great Italian and Dutch painters in his ability to capture the texture of things on canvas -- from shiny metals to rich fabrics. Above all, he knows how to convey every shade of human flesh. And yet the subject matter of Nerdrum's works is usually enough to place him in the modern world. His dark palette seems to underwrite a disturbing vision of the end of civilization as we know it.

When asked to define "what is lacking in contemporary art," Nerdrum characteristically put together an odd but suggestive list of four things:

  • 1. The open, trustful face,
  • 2. The sensual skin,
  • 3. Golden sunsets, and
  • 4. The longing for eternity.”

For more painting and further information, have a look at the website of The Nerdrum Institute.

The Supplement: Boris Vallejo

Ask anyone born in the 70's and they'll be familiar with the fantasy art of Boris Vallejo. He ranks alongside H.R. Giger as the artist 'most likely to annoy your a'level art teacher'. Aged fifteen or so, I had a whole book of his paintings... "It's art, mum, okay?" Vallejo's work is so deliriously pulpy and adolescent that, much like Laaksonen's erotica, it's possible to overlook his inarguable technical skill and sumptuous use of colour. Vallejo's aesthetic and thematic milieu recalls the super-saturated kitsch of Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968) and Mike Hodge's over-sexed Flash Gordon (1980). It's Muscle Beach meets Penthouse meets Dungeons & Dragons. Vallejo's images are like cheap sweets - probably bad for you, but strangely addictive!

The images showcased here are just the tip of a very lurid iceberg - go here for more (much more!) but remember, "It's art, mum, okay?"

CGAA One-A-Day: David Shrigley

Following yesterday's announcements about cuts for arts organisations, it's a good time to be reminded of David Shrigley's animation made a year ago for the Save the Arts UK campaign.

More more information about the cuts to arts council funding there's an article from the Guardian here.

If you want to see more of David Shrigley's work, try his website at

CGAA Unit 5: 'Crawling into the heart of a character'

Here's more inspiration from the master, Glen Keane, as he flips a scene from his Aladdin line test (which took him, the master, a whole month to animate!). He talks about Ollie Johnston's work, golden drawings, acting out scenes and getting under the skin of your characters... 'Crawling into the heart of your character'.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One-a-day : Peter Chung - Æon Flux (1992-1995)

Since I am writing an essay about Peter Chung I just couldn’t share one of my favorite his works. It is called Æon Flux and it is an avant-garde science fiction animated television series from the USA that aired on MTV. It premiered in 1991 on MTV's Liquid Television experimental animation show as a six-part serial of short films, followed in 1992 by five individual short episodes. In 1995, a season of ten half-hour episodes aired as a stand-alone series, rated TV-MA. Æon Flux is set in a bizarre, dystopian future world. The title character is a tall, leather-clad secret agent from the nation of Monica, skilled in assassination and acrobatics. Her mission is to infiltrate the strongholds of the neighboring country of Bregna, which is led by her sometimes-nemesis and sometimes-lover Trevor Goodchild. Monica apparently represents a dynamic anarchist society, while Bregna embodies a centralized, scientifically planned state—referred to on one occasion as a republic by Goodchild. The names of their respective characters reflect this: Flux as the self-directed agent from Monica and Goodchild as the technocratic leader of Bregna. The visual style of Æon Flux was deeply influenced by the figurative paintings and drawings of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele. Other key influences on Æon Flux can be found in Japanese anime (especially grittier fare like Akira), and European comic works such as the work of Moebius (particularly in lineforms, color palettes, and figure characterizations). Æon Flux is often erroneously classified as an anime series. Graphic violence and sexuality, including fetishism and domination, are frequently depicted. In the featurette Investigation: The History of Æon Flux (included on the 2005 DVD release), Peter Chung says the visual style also was influenced by the limitations of the animated series Rugrats, which he worked on prior to Æon Flux and found highly frustrating in the limitations of what the characters could do. This is the prehistory of what we have now in MTV and Nickelodeon and that perfectness of bizarre 90’s oldschool style is intelligently injected into this animation. What made Aeon Flux so remarkable was the creativity Chung brought to the writing to show how there are no good guys in war. He broke all the rules of the traditional protagonist narrative, replacing it with a kind of "baton pass" narrative where a hero from each faction takes over as the protagonist after he/she kills their predecessor. Nobody had ever thought of doing anything like this before or since.

Mars Needs Moms: "The $175m flop so bad it could end the 3D boom"

"At cinemas in Hollywood and beyond, children have been watching a big-budget 3D animated feature called Mars Needs Moms. Most will have been happy enough with the film, produced by Robert Zemeckis (who ranks as a pioneer of digital 3D film-making along with James Cameron).

Wearing their "RealD" spectacles, viewers munch popcorn as they watch a far-fetched yarn about Milo, a nine-year-old who doesn't eat his broccoli and whose mother ends up being kidnapped by Martians. What these children don't realise is that the film is at the centre of a ferocious debate about 3D ticket pricing that threatens to derail 3D film-making altogether.

To put it bluntly, Mars Needs Moms has been a mega-flop. The film cost about $175m (£110m) to make and market – yet grossed less than $7m on its opening weekend in the US..."


Read the complete article here

CGAA One-A-Day: Sometimes The Stars

Presenting Ari Gibson & Jason Pamment's Sometimes The Stars. I must still be in 'melancholy mode' following Monday's screening of The Illusionist and Tuesday's Wall-e. This animated music video boasts some lovely moments and very nice production design. Enjoy!

"Sometimes the Stars" is a new song from Australian band, The Audreys, taken from their 2010 album of the same name. The accompanying short animated film, produced by Luke Jurevicius and directed by Ari Gibson & Jason Pamment, is about a lost girl's journey through a surreal landscape, and her yearning to make a connection in this distant yet strangely familiar world."

For an interview with Gibson and Pamment go here.