think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the
entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends.
Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases
something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the
aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a
long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended
family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take
this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity
from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you
through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their
busy celluloid digesting day.
By Andrea Rothe
What I’m Thankful For:
Bosch, del Toro, and Barlowe
Most people are familiar with the fact that Guillermo del Toro’s creative process involves filling up notebooks with drawings and sketches. These notebooks have gotten a lot of attention since The Labyrinth, followed a couple of years later by Hellboy 2. He creates other worlds full of creatures: eyeballs in hands, a cathedral in place of a head, Lovecraftian beasts roaming about… You see, there are no rules — or at least that’s mindset he chooses to employ. That why not? and it exists because I will it to attitude is the reason the troll market in Hellboy 2 featured a set of false teeth on legs.
Wayne Barlowe is another modern creator that laughs at the rules. He’s a well-known illustrator whose concept designs have been seen in Hellboy 2, The Hobbit: Part 1, a couple of the Harry Potter films, and Avatar. He’s known for intricate, polished sketches that exist as a higher form of art in and of themselves.
What’s curious to me, is that these two modern masters are preceded in history by men with simply different tools. For example: Hieronymous Bosch, the 15th century Netherlandish painter that gave the world the Garden of Earthly Delights, that triptych featuring fantastic beasts and his creative vision of hell. Far less people are aware of his sketches, though. His notebooks feature page after page of creatures. Interestingly enough, they aren’t so different from Guillermo del Toro’s sketches. It’s as if these two guys sat next to one another in school.
I wonder what Hieronymous Bosch would have done had he had Guillermo’s tools. These men are simply separated by history, technology, and literary history. What if the Garden of Earthly Delights were a film, and not the 87 inch high center panel of a painting at the Prado Gallery in Madrid? What if Bosch could have considered sound and light? His work is heavily narrative, but what if he’d been offered the opportunity to work in a time-based medium instead of just paint? Restrictions aside, Bosch is our nearly 500 year old example of an innovator — someone ahead of his time and material limitations. He willed something great to exist with the same tenacity that Barlowe and del Toro have. The proof is in the pudding.