Blurry portrait

'Llyn Foulkes One Man Band' takes on an inscrutable artist

|
(2)
Llyn Foulkes and his massive musical sculpture

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Time is money, making both things usually in short supply when it comes to moviemaking. Ergo, a movie that takes forever to make is often a novelty — an extreme conceptual luxury. (On the other hand, movies that never actually get finished are probably more common than you'd expect; there's a whole invisible history of films abandoned mid-production, usually because the money ran out.) This week sees the theatrical release of Richard Linklater's Boyhood, an unusual and by all accounts wonderful experiment shot over a 12-year course, so its actors (particularly Ellar Coltrane's titular youth) could grow older naturally within the story's time span.

Unfortunately, the by-all-accounts wonderfulness of Boyhood didn't screen in time for this particular column — necessitating an attention shift to the Roxie, which just happens to be opening a movie also shot over several years' course. If Boyhood is obviously about life's formative early years, Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty's Llyn Foulkes One Man Band leaps forward decades to that point where an individual life no longer seems to change very much. Not nearly as much as they'd like, in this case. Foulkes is a veteran of that fabled Los Angeles art scene briefly and famously (albeit mostly in retrospect) centered around the Ferus Gallery. He was such a prodigy he dropped out of the Chouinard Art Institute (now known as CalArts) to go professional, then got kicked out of Ferus for (he says) dissing another, better-entrenched resident "rebel," Bob Irwin.

Of course, no one since approximately 1900 has ever met a "serious" painter who wasn't also a "rebel." After that parting of ways, Foulkes became quite a popular artist for a while via large paintings derived from vintage landscape (in particular, rocks) photography. Such popularity chafed, so he turned toward what he calls his "bloody heads" period, gory portraiture that made his "macabre edge" very plain to anyone who somehow hadn't sussed it already. Suddenly he was no longer the US artist invited to international biennales and handed prestigious prizes. One Man Band follows him some time later (2004-2012, to be exact), when he passes age 70 with no ebbing of lust — for acclaim, that is, for the sales and exhibitions and critical raves he possibly bypassed in "going out of his way to turn his back on the proprieties of the art world," as one bemused observer notes.

We see him prepping for shows that force him into the position he most resists: actually finishing a work. At least that's his problem with two notable pieces. Intense surreal landscape The Lost Frontier was started in 1997. It has grown so thick in places that he's periodically used saw and hammer to excise a section he wants to rework. It duly includes a representation of Mickey Mouse, the pop culture icon he worshipped early on (in high school he'd aimed at working for Disney), then increasingly used as the perfect symbol of all things corrupt, exploitative, and American. A gallery deadline finally forces him to sign off on it, following a typical final frenzy of tinkering all-nighters.

Comments

payday loans direct lender no teletrack I wanted to write a
quick message so as to appreciate you for these nice information you are posting here.
My time consuming internet look up has finally been recognized with pleasant
details to go over with my friends and classmates.
I would admit that many of us website visitors actually are very much lucky to exist in a fabulous network with so many perfect people with good plans.
I feel quite lucky to have come across the web page and look forward
to so many more enjoyable moments reading here. Thanks a lot once again for
a lot of things. Welcome to my blog Amoxil express shipping online or generic amoxicillin UK.
payday loans direct lender no teletrack

My web-site; [url=http://paydayloansdirectlender.officialonlinepaydayloans.com]payday loans direct lender only no teletrack[/url]

Posted by payday loans direct lender only no teletrack on Jul. 23, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

resveratrol weight loss Hello fellow blogger! Discovered your website
through the search engine, and was forwarded to your site, lol.
Anyway, great article that you simply write right here, I find the content material to be very informational, in a way.
On the other hand I am simply wondering whether or not a fellow blogger such as you
wish to perform a little link trade with me,
as I am consistently looking for quality blogs like
yours, to additional expand my community of friends.
Let me know, and thanks in advance. weight loss calculator

Posted by intermittent fasting weight loss on Jul. 23, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Also from this author

  • Endless Don

    The Roxie celebrates the roller-coaster career of an erstwhile Hollywood hunk

  • It's alive!

    The Vortex Room keeps on keepin' on — for now — with the weirdest flicks you'll see all summer

  • Puff piece

    Music-manager doc 'Supermensch' doth gush too much