It’s Day 109 and I was super excited to paint a tribute to David Lynch…one of my all time favorite directors, artists…well, everything! I was a little trapped in the garage since guys are here installing a new bathroom fan and switches for the sconces etc. But it worked out fine. The dogs are still locked in there as the guys finish up so I thought I’d finish my blog. Join me in celebrating the great man that is David Lynch.
David Keith Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American film director, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor. Known for his surrealist films, he has developed a unique cinematic style, which has been dubbed “Lynchian”, a style characterized by its dream imagery and meticulous sound design. The surreal, and in many cases, violent, elements contained within his films have been known to “disturb, offend or mystify” audiences.
Born to a middle-class family in Missoula, Montana, Lynch spent his childhood
traveling around the United States, before going on to study painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he first made the transition to producing short films. Deciding to devote himself more fully to this medium, he moved to Los Angeles, where he produced his first motion picture, the surrealist horror Eraserhead (1977). After Eraserhead became a cult classic on the midnight movie circuit, Lynch was employed to direct The Elephant Man (1980), from which he gained mainstream success. Then being employed by the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, he proceeded to make two films: the science-fiction epic Dune (1984), which proved to be a critical and commercial failure, and then a neo-noir crime film, Blue Velvet (1986), which was critically acclaimed.
Next, Lynch created his own television series with Mark Frost, the highly popular murder mystery Twin Peaks (1990–1991); he also created a cinematic prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), a road movie, Wild at Heart (1990), and a family film,The Straight Story (1999), in the same period. Turning further towards surrealist filmmaking, three of his subsequent films operated on “dream logic”, non-linear narrative structures: Lost Highway (1997), Mulholland Drive (2001) and Inland Empire(2006). Meanwhile, Lynch embraced the Internet as a medium, producing several web-based shows, such as the animation Dumbland (2002) and the surreal sitcom Rabbits (2002).
Over his career, Lynch has received three Academy Award nominations for Best
Director and a nomination for best screenplay. Lynch has won France’s César Award for Best Foreign Film twice, as well as the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and aGolden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival. The French government awarded him the Legion of Honor, the country’s top civilian honor, as a Chevalier in 2002 and then an Officier in 2007, while that same year, The Guardian described Lynch as “the most important director of this era”. Allmovie called him “the Renaissance man of modern American filmmaking”, while the success of his films has led to him being labelled “the first popular Surrealist.”
Lynch was born in Missoula, Montana on January 20, 1946. His father, Donald Walton Lynch, was a research scientist working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and his mother, Edwina “Sunny” Lynch (née Sundholm), was an English language tutor whose grandfather’s parents had immigrated to the United States from Finland in the 19th century. Lynch was raised a Presbyterian. The Lynch family often moved around according to where the USDA assigned Donald. It was because of this that when he was two months old, David Lynch moved with his parents to Sandpoint, Idaho, and only two years after that, following the birth of his brother John, the family again moved, this time to Spokane, Washington. It was here that his sister Martha was born, before they once more moved, this time to Durham, North Carolina, then to Boise, Idaho and then to Alexandria, Virginia.
Lynch found this transitory early life relatively easy to adjust to, noting that he found it fairly easy to meet new friends whenever he started
attending a new school. Commenting on much of his early life, Lynch has remarked that “I found the world completely and totally fantastic as a child. Of course, I had the usual fears, like going to school … For me, back then, school was a crime against young people. It destroyed the seeds of liberty. The teachers didn’t encourage knowledge or a positive attitude.” Alongside this schooling, he joined the Boy Scouts, although he would later note that he only “became one so I could quit, and put it behind me.” He rose to the highest rank of Eagle Scout. It was through being an Eagle Scout that he was present with other Boy Scouts outside of the White House at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, which took place on Lynch’s birthday in 1961.
Lynch had become interested in painting and drawing from an early age, becoming intrigued by the idea of pursuing it as a career path when living in Virginia, where his friend’s father was a professional painter. At Francis C. Hammond High School in Alexandria, Virginia, he did poorly academically, having little interest in school work, but was popular with other students, and after leaving decided that he wanted to study painting at college, thereby beginning his studies at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1964, where he was a roommate of Peter Wolf. Nonetheless, he left after only a year, stating that “I was not inspired AT ALL in that place”, and instead deciding that he wanted to travel around Europe for three years with his friend Jack Fisk, who was similarly unhappy with his studies at Cooper Union. They had some hopes that in Europe they could train with the expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka at his school. Upon reaching Salzburg, however, they found that he was not available and, disillusioned, returned to the United States after spending only 15 days of their planned three years in Europe.
Lynch first trained as a painter, and although he is now better known as a filmmaker, he has also produced much painting work. Lynch has
stated that “all my paintings are organic, violent comedies. They have to be violently done and primitive and crude, and to achieve that I try to let nature paint more than I paint.” Many of his works are very dark in colour, and Lynch has described this as being because “I wouldn’t know what to do with [colour]. Colour to me is too real. It’s limiting. It doesn’t allow too much of a dream. The more you throw black into a colour, the more dreamy it gets … Black has depth. It’s like a little egress; you can go into it, and because it keeps on continuing to be dark, the mind kicks in, and a lot of things that are going on in there become manifest. And you start seeing what you’re afraid of. You start seeing what you love, and it becomes like a dream.”
Many of his works also contain letters and words added to the painting, something which he explains: “The words in the paintings are sometimes important to make you start thinking about what else is going on in there. And a lot of times, the words excite me as shapes, and something’ll grow out of that. I used to cut these little letters out and glue them on. They just look good all lined up like teeth … sometimes they become the title of the painting.”
Lynch considers the 20th-century Irish artist Francis Bacon to be his “number one kinda hero painter”, stating that “Normally I only like a couple of years of a painter’s work, but I like everything of Bacon’s. The guy, you know, had the stuff.”
Lynch was the subject of a major art retrospective at the Fondation Cartier, Paris from
March 3 – May 27, 2007. The show was titled 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 Lynch’s art include photographs of dissected chickens and other animals as a “Build your own Chicken” toy ad.
Between 1983 and 1992, 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.
Very partial biography from wikipedia. I mainly focused on including his life story and painting oriented information. The entry otherwise is huge!
I very much enjoyed painting this piece today. And strangely enough, I randomly had a bunch of plastic babies I could use as a 3D effect. I combined styles from different paintings. I personally think his pieces are amazing. I hope that I did a good job capturing his style and spirit and his work (as did his films in the past) inspired me as usual. Enjoy and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 110! Best, Linda