A Stroke of Genius: ‘Loving Vincent’ Film Review

November 6, 2017 at 9:38 AM | Posted in Art, Film Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment
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To create a hand-painted, animated feature film using the style of Vincent van Gogh would seem an impossible task but Loving Vincent successfully did just that. The film Loving Vincent sets itself apart from any animated movie by being the world’s first fully painted feature film.

When I first saw the trailer of this film, I was immediately blown away. The fact that this movie is fully made from 66,960 oil paintings hand-painted by artists from across the globe is a feat in itself. While I don’t know much about Vincent van Gogh or all of his work, I’ve always loved his “Starry Night” painting. I’m also a fan of Impressionist/post-Impressionist art so this added to my curiosity of watching the film.

Loving Vincent is set a year after van Gogh’s death in 1890 and tells the story of a postman named Armand Roulin tasked to deliver a final letter from van Gogh to the painter’s brother Theo. What would be Armand’s simple journey to Auverse-sur-Oise in France ends up being a retelling of the last days of van Gogh. While in Auverse-sur-Oise, Armand gets curious and decides to investigate the death of van Gogh.

What is amazing about this film is the fact that they used some of van Gogh’s famous works as part of the story such as “The Night Café,” “Café Terrace at Night,” and of course “Starry Night.” The characters are also based from van Gogh’s paintings like the portraits of Armand and Joseph Roulin, Adeline Ravoux, Dr. Gachet, “Girl in White,” and “Marguerite Gachet at the Piano.”

Photo credit: mymodernmet.com

While the ending isn’t fulfilling and feels anti-climactic, the movie presents a somber and melancholic tone that captures the painter’s struggles with mental illness. But this also comes in contrast to the vivid colors of the paintings which the painter is known for. The flashback scenes are done in black and white sketches and in some scenes look almost like a film noir. The end credit is scored aptly with the classic Don McLean song, “Vincent.”

Loving Vincent is a visually stunning film worth watching, especially if you love art.

Stepping into the Art World

February 9, 2015 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Art | Leave a comment
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Art Fair Philippines 2015

I’ve been wanting to go to the annual Art Fair Philippines but never had the chance to do so in the past years. But thankfully, I was able to go last weekend. Since I had free time and the venue was only near where I live (it’s at The Link in Makati), I decided to drop by and check out the artworks of Filipino contemporary painters and sculptors and other Asian artists.

the crowd at Art Fair Phils. 2015

selfie @ Art Fair Philippines 2015I admit that I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to contemporary artists and the art scene in general. But I’ve always been fascinated by art and can appreciate a good painting when I see one. And I just thought that this year’s Art Fair Philippines would give me an opportunity to know these artists and their work.

It was my first time to go to the art fair so I was really excited. I was surprised by the long lines at the entrance. Art students, local and foreign enthusiasts, veteran artists and celebrities were there and mingled with the crowd. Upon entering I was kind of dazzled by the rows upon rows of galleries filled with works of art. At first I didn’t know where to start. There were just so many great artworks to admire. But I eventually made my way to the nearest gallery.

Norberto Roldan's "Mestiza"       Stygian Season painting by JJ Zamoranos

           Norberto Roldan’s “Mestiza”                            “Stygian Season” by JJ Zamoranos

Paintings and sketches were my main interest. When it comes to painting, I always get drawn to splashes of colors and curious, vibrant shapes. I also love paintings that tell a story – whether they are shown on the surface or hidden behind the drawing. To me, admiring a painting is always a personal experience. It amazed me how some of the paintings at the art fair were so detailed and almost looked real. Among the paintings there, Norberto Roldan’s “Mestiza” stood out. It’s one of my favorite paintings there, as well as Romulo Galicano’s “The White Horse of St. Catherine,” a set of gothic paintings called “Stygian Season” by JJ Zamoranos, and Jeoja Zoleta’s large pastel painting. I wasn’t able to get some of the names of the paintings I love and the artists there but their work were equally gorgeous.

Painting by Jeoja Zoleta

Painting by Jeoja Zoleta

 

There were also several art installations and sculptures there. My favorite by far was the set of Alice in Wonderland-inspired metal sculptures by Daniel Dela Cruz. Called “Curiouser and Curiouser,” the Alice in Wonderland sculpture set were a crowd favorite, attracting many visitors. Aside from these, I also love Derek Tumala’s “Sacred Geometry” simply because it looked so futuristic and out of this world.

Alice in Wonderland sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz

Alice in Wonderland sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz

  We're All Mad Here sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz      If I Had a World of My Own sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz
“We’re All Mad Here” by Daniel Dela Cruz        “If I Had a World of My Own” by Daniel Dela Cruz

I roamed the galleries for more than two hours – sometimes lingering on a particular painting or sculpture. I wanted to explore the other galleries on the upper floor but I was already too tired and my feet were killing me so I just went home. Coming out of the art fair, I was totally satisfied and glad that I actually made it this year. Here’s hoping that I will be able to go again next year.

“Sacred Geometry” by Derek Tumala

 

"The White Horse of St. Catherine" by Romulo Galicano

“The White Horse of St. Catherine” by Romulo Galicano

For more photos of art pieces from the Art Fair, check out my board on Pinterest.

 

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