FROM THE CANVAS TO THE MOVIES

The coexistence of the arts is, more than a fact, a necessity. Inspiration calls for inspiration, and it is difficult not to surrender to the beauty of some works that have passed into the history of art as an essential. That’s why it is not strange that cinema, the art of image par excellence, look for its models in some iconic artworks. Beyond the films about the lives of the most famous painters, there is also a less perceptible, more meditated influence that comes to light among film-frames to recreate imperishable scenes.

One of the easiest references to identify is the house of Psycho (the genuine one, the Hitchcock's masterpiece), directly drawn from one of Edward Hopper's paintings. The resemblance is huge, and although the architecture is not identical, both the framing and the environment refer us immediately to the work of the American painter.

Emulation is not exclusive to the first years of the 7th Art. The current cinema, in a context of overabundance of special effects, fantasy worlds and supernatural powers, seeks to consolidate its artistic language with productions of exquisite photographic composition based on masterpieces of the history of painting. To give just a few examples, we can mention Dunkirk (2017), with instants inspired by "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" (1818), by Caspar David Friedrich.

Classic paintings have always been a source of inspiration, especially if the reference is known worldwide. So it is with this scene of "About Schmidt" (2002), by Alexander Payne, where Jack Nicholson languishes in his bathtub in the same way as the famous painting "Death of Marat" (1793) by Jacques-Louis David.

The references are also taken from contemporary art. The beginning of "Lost in translation" (2003) by Sofia Coppola, is identical to the work "Jutta" (1973) by John Kacere.

And we can also mention the painting by the Swedish artist Odd Nerdrum "Drawn" (1990), whose disconcerting and terrifying idea is taken for a sequence of "The cell" (2000), a film loaded with surrealist and colourful images that represent chaos and mystery of the human mind. In fact, this film includes other striking images inspired by contemporary works such as the series of animals preserved in formaldehyde by Damien Hirst.

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.