Sunday, May 23, 2010

Expressionism and Kafka

SO, I'm always struck by the 1920's - 1930's German Expressionists. The nightmarish, interior as exterior landscapes are fertile grounds for contemplation. To my eye this is best represented by the films and woodcuts of the era. Movies such as "The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari", "Metropolis" and "M" are filled with the intense shadows, exaggerated features and disorienting angles so indicative of Expressionism. The stark and high contrast woodblock prints are almost an emblem of the style. The desire to give staging to the inner world and its conflicts is what I try to pull out to use in my drawings. The piece above is called "The Jury". It's a response to that Kafka notion we all experience at one time or another of being persecuted. Judged as it were by an unthinking and deeply unsettling branch of some omnipresent bureaucracy.

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