Born in Ann Arbor, Mich., and based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Eric White is a painter with a penchant for rendering scenes from films, including the above painting, which was by inspired by Robert Altman’s 3 Women. Here’s an excerpt from a piece White wrote about the painting for The Criterion Collection blog:
Robert Altman’s 3 Women is a surrealistic and unsettling study in identity theft, where personalities intertwine and unravel amid the desolation of the American West. It stands as one of the most compelling and original films ever made—at once devastatingly sad, hilarious, bizarre, and terrifying.
As with other paintings in the series, a camera pan or a series of shots is compressed into a single image, depicting multiple aspects and actions simultaneously, idealizing the sequence and manipulating and expanding the narrative. The translation of the dynamic and temporal nature of film to the static form of painting depicts the passage of time in two dimensions, and for me represents the idea of nonlinear and/or simultaneous time.
In the painting, the characters sit in the car and stare blankly, surrounded by a flat expanse of desert painted like a backdrop, and a sky sampled from the visionary artist Yves Tanguy, in parallel with the surrealism of the film. I’m interested in the artificiality of the interior and exterior spaces and the disconnection between the two, which functions as metaphor for Millie [Shelley Duvall] and Pinky [Sissy Spacek], both so disoriented and immersed in their respective inner worlds that they are unconscious of their surroundings and their true selves.
To view more of White’s work, visit ewhite.com.
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