When most artists decide to do portraits of their family, they ask their parents or siblings to pose for them. Laurel Nakadate, however, took a DNA test and began corresponding with strangers on websites who shared her DNA.
Nakadate is of Japanese-American lineage and said looking at the DNA from her maternal side unlocked the complex backgrounds shared by most Americans.
“My mother’s DNA revealed that, as with most Americans, there is nothing simple about the history of her family in America. She descends fromMayflower passengers, African slaves, indentured servants, and prominent figures in American history such as Anne Hutchinson, the Quaker martyr, Mary Dyer, and the McCoys of the famous feud.”
Because I share DNA with each person in the “Relations” photographs, these portraits are also modern-day self-portraits. “
“I wanted to make the anti-selfie,” she wrote. “The portrait that doesn’t deflect your gaze, the portrait that actually tries to care, that holds your gaze a little too long.
The sight of massive steel-skinned robot jagers whaling on skyscraper-sized kaiji isn’t meant to necessarily elicit visions of the timeless works published in countless art history textbooks. After all, “Pacific Rim” is brainless popcorn fun, a flick simply meant to make our basest senses go aflutter when one big thing hits another big thing to make other things go boom.
Director Guillermo Del Toro cast such sentiments into doubt, however briefly, when he mentioned in a Huffington Post interview that the immense size and scale of the film’s combatant creatures were directly informed by a well-known work of art. He cited “Colossus,” Francisco Goya’s 1808 painting of a towering giant dwarfing a village, as a core inspiration going into the project, making the piece an improbable but ultimately indelible part of his creative process in creating “Pacific Rim.”
That’s the funny thing about inspiration: it can come from the most unlikely of sources, even those that can seem far-flung in relation to the project at hand. With this in mind, here are 10 other films that found inspiration or pay homage to key visuals, moods or aesthetics derived from the vast world of fine art.