Zemphira, costume design for Aleko, Scene I (1942). Marc Chagall (French, born Belarus. 1887–1985). Gouache, watercolor, and pencil on paper. MOMA.
As pictured, used on 1953 European tour cover. As the fiery gypsy temptress Zemphira, dancer Alicia Markova had numerous costume changes, one more exotic than the next, and all covered in layered nettings, fabric flourishes and colorful appliqués. Chagall hand-painted each garment while Markova modeled it, so he could achieve the perfect placement for his symbolic design details.
George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor in Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
I’m still thinking about this beautiful film after seeing it four days ago….
Heather Hansen, a contemporary performance artist and dancer in New Orleans, has come up with an elegant and creative way to capture her dancing motions on paper – she gets up-close and personal with a big piece of paper and some charcoal.
For the performance aspect of her work, Hansen invites observers to watch her dance on a huge piece of paper. As she dances and prostates herself on the piece of paper, she marks it with charcoal, gradually building a beautiful diagram of her seemingly ritual dance. She has also created a video called “Emptied Gestures” that features studio recordings of her graceful and dramatic work for those that cannot see it live.
Hansen says of her work; Emptying Gestures is an experiment in kinetic drawing. In this series, I am searching for ways to download my movement directly onto paper, emptying gestures from one form to another and creating something new in the process”
Hansen is a very prolific artist. In addition to numerous gallery performances and exhibitions of her dance drawings, she also spent all of 2013 creating an artistic sketch a day and plans to do so 2014 as well. By the way – forcing yourself to create one piece of artwork a day is a great way for people to stay creatively occupied and motivated!
Adam Ferriss is a photographer and digital media artist based in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to his artistic practice, Adam runs the photography labs at Otis College of Art and Design. His most recent projects involve creating tri-chromatic color separation photographs and algorithmically restructuring pixel array data.