Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Kestros Development Diary 4: Art Merlot

I've spent some time trying to think of an appropriate style genre for this story. There are several pre-existing ones working together to deliberately conflict. There is the excess of the 1960s. This should really be decorated with pop art, something kitsch. Instead, there is strictly art deco (which fell out of favour in the 40s) geometry with occasional hints of art nouveau in some of the older decors. I've attempted to apply washed out, deliberately and audaciously bad choice of colour - something I associate strongly with the sixties. The resulting 'style' was initially going to be defined as 'messed-up glamour' which is a slight variation on what Clive Barker once described his intentions for the design of his cenobites in the Hellraiser franchise. (It was, in fact, "repulsive glamour"). I'm not sure if this one has been coined - I daren't google it to disappoint myself - so I'll say it first. I would like to describe this style as 'Art Merlot'.


Art Merlot takes it's name from the general appearance that the artist embarked on his design sober; he put down clean and bold lines with a grand vision in mind. Somewhere between drawing and applying colour, he was introduced to a large volume of red wine and the result of this becomes apparent in the final grubby aesthetics. Stylistically it is inspired by the Art Deco movements and fantastical art, as well as Film Noir and expressionism.

In terms of narrative, Art Merlot is characterised by excess and debauchery; it is often set out in the same way as a party - beginning with a boisterous introduction, fizzling out quickly to shyness before growing into a transgressive and hideous train-wreck of rambunctious events where there is no such thing as 'too much' and subsequent regret is almost certain. It is decorated with malice, humiliation, passion and sickness. (Frequently all four simultaneously.) It paints a landscape filled with adulterous lovers, prostitutes, elitist socialites, corrupt politicians and thieves. In a similar manner to the visual style, it is as if the writer introduced a set of noble and virtuous characters and eventually decided to turn them into monsters for a laugh.

There, now there is at least a ready-made label to stamp over the style. Anything to avoid 'gothic'.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
I only make love to Jesus

Blog Archive