Mr. Turner: A Film About the Life of Landscape Artist J.M.W. Turner Jan04

Mr. Turner: A Film About the Life of Landscape Artist J.M.W. Turner...

Joseph Mallord William Turner lived from 1775 to 1851 and was known as a landscape painter in the English Romantic period. While he lived, he created much controversy in the field of art but now critics revere him as an artist who showed that landscape painting could rival other genres for beauty and statement. At the time, historical paintings were very popular, and in retrospect, Turner’s work rivaled the content of the historical painting by just examining the local landscape. He was known as the “painter of light” in his day and worked in oils and watercolor. People today remember him for his oil painting, but in fact he was considered a master in both mediums. Some people consider his work a prelude to Impressionism, and part of the controversy of his style was in the way he would approach some pieces with a tendency toward the Abstract long before that style was conceived of let alone popular. He was an extremely prolific painter, and Wikipedia cites that he “produced over 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 paper works.” Turner experienced a difficult and lonely childhood, and later worked for several architects. During this study period in art, his sketchbooks show studies in composition and perspective. He also studied topography with Thomas Malton. The architect Thomas Hardwick suggested that Turner continue painting rather than pursue his interest in architecture. Enrolled in academy, he would spend his winters painting and his summers traveling, particularly to Wales. As he became older, he grew more eccentric. His dying words were reported to have been, “The sun is God.” In October 2014, British filmmaker Mike Leigh wrote and directed Mr. Turner. The film starred Timothy Spall as Turner and Spall won the award for Best Actor at Cannes. Timothy Spall also learned to paint when he accepted the role of the beloved and famous British painter. According to Wikipedia sources, Sony Pictures Classics will handle the United States distribution, and scheduled a limited release date of 19 December 2014. Fandango lists a limited release in New York and Los Angeles for the film as of the New Year with no other showings as of yet. However the film is meeting with critical acclaim both professionally and on public review sites. The film is a ‘warts and all’ depiction of Turner’s genius, wherein there is no bright shadow to applaud. Filmmaker Mike Leigh wanted to depict the life of Turner as a real human being subject to flaws, passions, depression and grappling with the world around him in a difficult period of history. He did outlandish things such as strapping himself to a ship’s mast in order to paint a snowstorm at sea. Turner’s love affairs were unusual and sometimes exploitative. He was a radical and a revolutionary, and an often anarchic member of London’s art societies. Film is useful to depict the otherwise silent stories that accompany artists to the grave. An artist may leave behind artwork by the tens of thousands and all of them fragments of a story, the story of their lives. In taking up those fragments and analyzing them, and sharing them again through a new lens with moving pictures, it is easy to see how one art, the art of cinematography, can renew public interest in another, the art of the landscape painting. Film reveals the man behind the art with the hope that the art left by Turner becomes even more precious to the...

Introducing Salvatore Ventura...

After moving from Europe to the Bay Area, Salvatore Ventura soon discovered his love for photography. Over the past decade he has explored various photography styles ranging from natural landscapes to personal portraits, and documented several local events. While working in high tech startups, Salvatore takes on photography assignments to keep in balance with his artistic side. We spoke with Salvatore about his experiences in the field of photography: What is it about photography that first gained your attention? Salvatore: I think it’s the mix between dream and reality that can be achieved within a picture. It’s powerful and sophisticated, yet so simple at once. What type of training/schooling did you receive to learn how to do this? Salvatore: I am mostly self-trained. I did read plenty, and still do, on technique, lighting, composition and colors, and of course, decoding works of great photographers. What type of equipment do you use? Salvatore: I started photography in the digital world, beginning my exploration with a point-and-shoot, and then evolving into a DSLR. I currently work with a Nikon D600. Do you use any digital post-processing? Salvatore:  Yes. Mainly around sharpening, color balance and cropping. Then of course there are special effects, to add a more distinctive accent on some shots, but it all depends. Some cases call for deeper edits. You only have female models in your current portfolio. Is that by choice? Salvatore: There are generally more female models than male, so it is easier  to work with them. But I have planned projects with male models, just haven’t had a chance to work on them yet. What is your favorite subject to photograph? Salvatore: People. Working on projects with models is by far my favorite. Travel photography, and landscapes are next. Do you...