By guest author Ken Steacy
(This is the conclusion of Ken's look at the 1970 George Segal feature film, 'Loving', which was based on the book, 'Brooks Wilson Ltd.')
What makes the film really fascinating is the remarkably accurate depiction of Brooks’ working method. There are no credits at the end of the film for the artist who created this amazing prop, so if any of the members recognize the work please let us know.
We see him shooting reference for what appears to be a spread for a women’s magazine. As usual, the budget sucks so he employs himself and his wife as models - look familiar, folks?
Brooks employs an interesting setup in his studio, using a footswitch operated lazy Luci to project the photographic reference onto his board.
We watch as he slaps on the acrylic (or is it casein?) then outlines the figures with marker.
The lights come on, Brooks raises the overlays, and we see this terrific illustration!
Both the book and the film focus on the difficult career of a freelance illustrator, at a time when technology was forever changing the rules of the game. Neither tells us if Brooks ultimately prevails, but there’s a curious scene in the movie that offers a clue. While passing a midtown gallery, he nervously eyes some very creepy paintings, which glare back with unsettling intensity.
Is our anti-hero contemplating a transition to ‘Fine Art’ as a career move, once photography destroys his livelihood (a decision some illustrators took at the time) or is his guilty conscience simply arrested by these images?
I leave it to you!
* Many thanks to guest author Ken Steacy for a fascinating topic this week. If you can help us identify any of the illustrations in the screen caps Ken provides, please do! Of course any and all other comments are also very much welcome and appreciated ~ Leif