Abrams Books / Oliver Barrett (collage)
Abrams Books / Oliver Barrett (collage)

Artists Pay Homage to Wes Anderson’s Filmography in a New Book

Abrams Books / Oliver Barrett (collage)
Abrams Books / Oliver Barrett (collage)

In 2010, curator and gallery owner Ken Harman organized his first “Bad Dads” pop-up art exhibition dedicated to Wes Anderson and the father figures in his films. Shortly thereafter, Harman established the Spoke Art gallery in San Francisco and now, six years and several exhibitions later, he and the gallery are looking back and celebrating the show that started it all with the release of The Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads: Art Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson.

The Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads by Spoke Art Gallery featuring a foreword by Wes Anderson © Abrams Books, 2016

Published by Abrams Books, the book features hundreds of images of paintings, sculptures, prints, and other works of art from the annual exhibit (and 2015’s special pop-up show in New York City). There are works inspired by everything from Anderson’s 1996 directorial debut, Bottle Rocket, to his more recent films, including 2014's Oscar-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel. The 256-page hardcover also includes a preface by Harman, an introduction by New York magazine TV critic and RogerEbert.com editor-in-chief Matt Zoller Seitz, and a foreword by the man himself, filmmaker Wes Anderson.

“Wes and his entire team have been very supportive over the years,” Harman told mental_floss. “I believe he first found out about the exhibit in 2010 and we always try to send them an update whenever we put on a new show ... Wes does have a fair number of works from the show which he has collected over the years."

Anderson attended the New York City pop-up along with actor Jason Schwartzman, but he is not the only one of Anderson's collaborators who has shown appreciation for the work. “We’ve also been lucky enough to meet Tony Revolori (Zero in The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Kara Hayward (Suzy in Moonrise Kingdom),” Harman says. “Jared Gilman (who played Sam in Moonrise Kingdom) has quickly become a friend of the gallery and we see him pretty regularly whenever we do a show in New York, even when it’s not Wes Anderson-related.”

Rich Pellegrino, "Peter" Acrylic on panels

Doug LaRocca,"F is for Fantastic" Screen Print 10.5 x 13.5

Oliver Barrett, [names clockwise from top] Raleigh, Steve, Walt, Herman. Screen Prints 18 x 24 each.

Ruben Ireland, "Margot," Fine art giclée print

Matt Needle, "Rushmore," Fine art giclee print 18 x 24

Ivonna Buenrostro, "Le temps del’amour," Fine art giclée print

Harman says that designer Martin Venezky is the one who deserves thanks for the cover and interior art; Venezky worked on the previous installments of The Wes Anderson Collection, and was also responsible for selecting the art for the Bad Dads book.

“Looking at the way he laid everything out, it’s pretty apparent that there are a lot of similarities between book design and gallery curation,” Harman says. “The way individual works compare, contrast, or speak to each other across the two-page spreads and in segments throughout the book is very reminiscent to how we, as a gallery, decide which works go where.”

The Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads: Art Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson is available today via Abrams Books and Amazon.

All images courtesy of Abrams Books.

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John MacDougall, Getty Images
Stolpersteine: One Artist's International Memorial to the Holocaust
John MacDougall, Getty Images
John MacDougall, Getty Images

The most startling memorial to victims of the Holocaust may also be the easiest to miss. Embedded in the sidewalks of more than 20 countries, more than 60,000 Stolpersteine—German for “stumbling stones”—mark the spots where victims last resided before they were forced to leave their homes. The modest, nearly 4-by-4-inch brass blocks, each the size of a single cobblestone, are planted outside the doorways of row houses, bakeries, and coffee houses. Each tells a simple yet chilling story: A person lived here. This is what happened to them.

Here lived Hugo Lippers
Born 1878
Arrested 11/9/1938 — Altstrelitzer prison
Deported 1942 Auschwitz

The project is the brainchild of the German artist Gunter Demnig, who first had the idea in the early 1990s as he studied the Nazis' deportation of Sinti and Roma people. His first installations were guerrilla artwork: According to Reuters, Demnig laid his first 41 blocks in Berlin without official approval. The city, however, soon endorsed the idea and granted him permission to install more. Today, Berlin has more than 5000.

Demnig lays a Stolpersteine.
Artist Gunter Demnig lays a Stolpersteine outside a residence in Hamburg, Germany in 2012.
Patrick Lux, Getty Images

The Stolpersteine are unique in their individuality. Too often, the millions of Holocaust victims are spoken of as a nameless mass. And while the powerful memorials and museums in places such as Berlin and Washington, D.C. are an antidote to that, the Stolpersteine are special—they are decentralized, integrated into everyday life. You can walk down a sidewalk, look down, and suddenly find yourself standing where a person's life changed. History becomes unavoidably present.

That's because, unlike gravestones, the stumbling stones mark an important date between a person’s birth and death: the day that person was forced to abandon his or her home. As a result, not every stumbling stone is dedicated to a person who was murdered. Some plaques commemorate people who fled Europe and survived. Others honor people who were deported but managed to escape. The plaques aim to memorialize the moment a person’s life was irrevocably changed—no matter how it ended.

The ordinariness of the surrounding landscape—a buzzing cafe, a quaint bookstore, a tree-lined street—only heightens that effect. As David Crew writes for Not Even Past, “[Demnig] thought the stones would encourage ordinary citizens to realize that Nazi persecution and terror had begun on their very doorsteps."

A man in a shop holding a hammer making a Stolpersteine.
Artisan Michael Friedrichs-Friedlaender hammers inscriptions into the brass plaques at the Stolpersteine manufacturing studio in Berlin.
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

While Demnig installs every single Stolpersteine himself, he does not work alone. His project, which stretches from Germany to Brazil, relies on the research of hundreds of outside volunteers. Their efforts have not only helped Demnig create a striking memorial, but have also helped historians better document the lives of individuals who will never be forgotten.

Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
60 Years Later, a Lost Stanley Kubrick Script Has Been Found
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images
Evening Standard/Stringer, Getty Images

A “lost” screenplay co-written by famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has been found after 60 years, Vulture reports.

The screenplay is an adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella Burning Secret, which Vulture describes as a reverse Lolita (plot summary for those who forgot high school English class: a man enters a relationship with a woman because of his obsession with her 12-year-old daughter). In Burning Secret, a man befriends an adolescent boy in order to seduce his mother. Zweig’s other works have inspired films like Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (which the director claims he "stole" from Zweig's novels Beware of Pity and The Post-Office Girl).

Kubrick’s screenplay adaptation is co-written by novelist Calder Willingham and dated October 24, 1956. Although the screenplay bears a stamp from MGM’s screenwriting department, Nathan Abrams—the Bangor University professor who discovered the script—thinks it’s likely the studio found it too risqué for mass audiences.

“The child acts as an unwitting go-between for his mother and her would-be lover, making for a disturbing story with sexuality and child abuse churning beneath its surface,” Abrams told The Guardian. It's worth noting, however, that Kubrick directed an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita in 1962, which MGM distributed, and it was also met with a fair share of controversy.

Abrams said the screenplay for Burning Secret is complete enough that it could be created by filmmakers today. He noted that the discovery is particularly exciting because it confirms speculations Kubrick scholars have had for decades.

“Kubrick aficionados knew he wanted to do it, [but] no one ever thought it was completed,” Abrams told The Guardian.

The Guardian reports that Abrams found the screenplay while researching his book Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film. The screenplay is owned by the family of one of Kubrick’s colleagues.

[h/t Vulture]


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