Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Killer of Sheep Wire Portraits

For the Clayton Brothers' advanced image making class, we had to do a piece on the film Killer of Sheep. The movie was really beautiful--great contrast of very sensitive and sympathetic characters portrayed against a backdrop of urban decay that is the Los Angeles city of Watts in the 70's, and with a great soundtrack that offsets the bleak surroundings. Originally I thought about making a mobile with the characters, but then was looking at Alexander Calder's wire portraits, and thought it would be great to try wire as a medium. In the movie, there are a lot of construction and metallic playing at an abandoned construction site or under railcars on a railroad, which helps reinforce a feeling of coldness and hardness, that really contrasts the depth and warmth of the characters themselves. So I thought cold hard wire would be the perfect medium. It reallly was an exercise in frustration....I felt like the wire was out of control, and that it didn't want to cooperate with me, and I really struggled with it. But I just tried to go with the flow and create the strongest line that would best portray the characters....and much to my surprise, the Claytons really liked it!

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