Sunday, June 14, 2015

Monica Vitti's existential crisis and my grandfather's long johns - it's hot and cold in "The Red Desert".






The Girl on the Beach clip from "The Red Desert"




film























Monica Vitti in a still from Michelangelo Antonioni's film The Red Desert (Il Deserto Rosso), 1964.
The use of line, color, and fabrics in this photo inspired the pillow design.














































































































































materials





































           Garments include my grandfather's woolen long johns-- ca. 1960 or earlier-- with his last name, Hermes, handwritten on waistband; 1970's corduroy Levis;  red cotton batik remnants from the lapel of   the poppy robe I designed and made  ; scraps of digital print silk left over from my scarf ;   other fabrics include an orange cotton print sample brought from India in the 1970's by the husband of a friend of mine, who, after saving the samples for 40+ years, gave them to me last year; 1980's curtain fabric from my sister, and red plaid silk.





process




















The random sizes and shapes of the scraps form the basis of the composition.








A few weeks ago I stitched together pieces of the Levis to make a pigment sheet with no idea how I would use it;  the irregular piecing and layers reminded me of Serge Poliakoff  's paintings, which I love:

























in progress 






























The first mock-up was a series of mostly vertical lines, much like the film photo.































The texture of Monica Vitti's sweater made me think to use the long johns; the triangular shape of the waistband shifted the composition, broke up the grid.









Hans Hofmann












































I was thinking of Hans Hoffman 's early to mid-1960's color block paintings, which he was doing at the same time Antonioni was making this film.  In the photo below, you can see how art of the period was influencing film set design, in the use of blocks of color, and even the attention to the paint-- the unevenness of the layers, and the texture of it peeling away from the surfaces.
























































Here's Tillycat doing her best Monica Vitti impersonation.





Speaking of paint textures, this week I came across these these gorgeous detail photos Dominique Browning took of some of Hofmann's paintings at the Met.  See more of them on her blog Slow Love Life  .





































































details



















































Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Collage Pillow 1, plus "Ieri, Oggi, Domani"




































































rotations:



























Film and fabrics:





This week I watched Vittorio de Sica's film "Ieri, Oggi, Domani"  , a trilogy of short films within a film starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. I was struck by the colors, patterns, and textures in the clothing, architecture, props-- everything so beautifully thought out.  

It's a comprehensive approach that brought to mind the diverse group of fabrics in my collection, which span a wide range of time periods, various family members' personal tastes, functions etc.-- interesting to think of each group of fabrics as a scene, a place, an event.  Some of the fabrics in the collection, such as the green and gray windowpane plaid shirt-- a rag which I recovered from my dad's work shed--  are from around the same time period as the movie, mid-sixties.  

I love so many of these shots!    
  














Love the Lipton boxes and other products, the pop of turquoise in the doorway.
Note the occurrence of blue in this series of market scenes.






.. and the geometric patterned dress that strolls through.
















LOVE this one-- the linear structure and use of shadow to reinforce it, the texture of the wall at the back, the pop of orange amid grays and beiges.



















I was reminded of this painting by Nicolas de Stael .  The monochrome image above emphasizes the lines and spatial composition.  Below is the original painting with all of its glorious colors.























back to the film....












Is that a pile of giant lemons?


You can't miss the yellow in these frames.



























































So small that red license plate, but what an impact.















and a pop of red again in this one.








Crazy colored cabinets!  Note the blood-red pot with the turquoise bowl back left.