Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Andrew Cowdell, The allure of night, 2014

Andrew Cowdell, The allure of night, oil on canvas

Hello everybody, and welcome to Art in Noir.

The black-and-white cinematography of the classic era is a mood which still colours my childhood memories of the 1970s. It was both comforting and exciting to bask in the monochromatic glow from our big old television set in the living room. It's of no surprise to me now that those same black-and-white dreamlike qualities are permeating my artworks.

Taking my inspiration from the 1946 film noir The Killers, this monochrome oil painting fuses various elements of the dark narrative to represent a conceptualized image. Ava Gardner as Kitty Collins is the ultimate femme fatale; sultry and sardonic, she at once embodies everything that is beautiful and terrible. Kitty's lover, Ole, takes the rap for her stolen jewellery and is sentenced for a three-year prison term. Ole's cellmate Charleston passes the time by gazing at and studying the stars. When Charleston describes a bright star in the night sky, Ole is thinking of Kitty:

"You see that bright star in the center...brightest star in all the heavens. Only it's so far away, it don't seem like it."

But Kitty hasn't written or visited Ole in prison during his entire incarceration. Kitty dominates the fate in store for those who embark upon nocturnal adventures. Her mysterious attraction corresponds to the unfathomability of the night itself.

Thank you for reading.

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