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THE D R AWI N G CENTER

Alexis Rockman Drawings from Life of Pi

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The Drawing Center September 27–November 3, 2013 Drawing Room | The Lab


Alexis Rockman Drawings from Life of Pi

Curated by Brett Littman and Nova Benway


D R AW I N G PA P E R S 10 7

With a conversation between Alexis Rockman and Jean-Christophe Castelli


Introduction Brett Littman


Alexis Rockman’s drawings for Life of Pi served as a first stage in the development of the fantastical, imaginary world of the 2012 feature film directed by Ang Lee. Lee sought out Rockman’s vision as an artist with a specific commitment to hand drawing in order to bring a human scale to the project – a sense of the material and the fortuitous that would come, for example, out of the random bloom of watercolor pigment on paper. Though most artistic contributions to cinema are dependent on photo-realism or cartoon-like illustration, Rockman’s images are fluid, intimate, and dynamic in a way that is only available to drawing. Rockman’s work for the movie functioned much in the same way as the art of Syd Mead did for Blade Runner, or H.R. Giger’s did for Alien. And these are important figures for Rockman. But he also looked carefully at paintings by Winslow Homer for a more abstract sense of light and atmosphere, and at Indian “composite paintings” that feature fantastical forms of animals made up of other animals – a technique that appears in a number of sequences in the finished film. Even the Hindu myth, in which the universe is visible in Krishna’s mouth, appears in the jaws of a large fish encountered in Pi’s undersea world. This mixing of art history and myth was natural for Lee as well, as he is a filmmaker who often seeks inspiration from an unusually wide variety of non-cinematic sources. This exhibition reflects the evolution of Rockman’s role in the making of Life of Pi. The first part includes the artist’s annotated script, and his large watercolors that were used to pitch the studio on Ang Lee’s vision. The second part is comprised of more detailed sketches, particularly landscape elements of the fantastic floating

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island (fruit, tree branches, pools, etc.) that Pi lands on towards the end of his voyage. Here, Rockman’s work is placed in the context of the design and execution of the film’s built sets. The third part centers on the hallucinatory episode that Rockman helped to design (in collaboration with Lee and the film’s editor, associate producer, and F/X supervisors), the so-called “Tiger Vision” sequence, which is one of Life of Pi’s purely filmic inspirations – i.e. an element not adapted from Yann Martel’s novel. In this sequence, Pi, following the tiger’s gaze over the side of the boat, plunges deep into his own oceanic subconscious, a surreal world of fantastic forms, familiar memories, and overwhelming loss. Rockman’s watercolor and gouache sketches on black paper (the first use of this medium for the artist) formed the basis of the images developed by the wellknown Paris-based F/X company BUF. The sketches are displayed in tandem with samples of the intermediate stages of the animation and lead up to the finished product. The sequence provides an overview of this unique interaction between a director’s vision, an artist’s hand and eye, and the full creative-technological arsenal of big-budget filmmaking. We are thankful to Ang Lee for his support of, and interest in, this project. We also appreciate Jean Castelli’s invaluable advice, guidance, and friendship. Additionally, Alexis is grateful to Dorothy Spears for her wisdom and guidance through the challenges of making the film and the organization of this show, Alex Brown, Ferran Brown, Craig Bernstein and Michael Runnels for their support at ICM, and David Lee. We would also like to thank the following people for so generously supporting this exhibition and publication: Richard Edwards, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen; and James Salomon. At The Drawing Center, for embracing this idea and making the exhibition and publication possible, I want to thank my fantastic staff: Anna Martin, Registrar; Nova Benway, Curatorial Assistant; Nicole Goldberg, Development Director; Peter Ahlberg and Joanna Ahlberg, AHL&CO; and Jonathan T.D. Neil, Executive Editor.

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A Conversation Between Alexis Rockman and Jean-Christophe Castelli


Castelli: First, I wanted to ask you about the connections between your love of film—specifically special effects and the history of special effects—and your painting. Rockman: Watching movies in general as an only child in Manhattan was a way to be transported. Movies, along with trips to the Bronx Zoo and the Museum of Natural History, were places of intense wonder and excitement. They were the big inspirations. And what were the movies, the filmmakers or special effects people, that really marked you? I was democratic: Orson Welles, F.W. Murnau, James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein—it was primarily Willis O’Brien’s King Kong, the 1933 version, that made a huge impression and is still undeniably one of the most vivid, complete worlds I’ve ever seen. I did a little bit of travel when I was a kid so I was constantly comparing Kong’s Skull Island with wherever I was. Any jungle in South America was slightly disappointing when I’ d see the real thing—that movie is a tough act to follow. The thing I want to also clarify is that it’s certain ideas about visual effects that are fascinating to me. I’ve considered these people as artists in their own rights. For me, Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen, Douglas Trumbull and Albert Whitlock have been the main players.1 Willis O’brien in particular. Harryhausen picked up the baton from O’Brien for characters in fantasy worlds with pathos in stop motion animation. 1

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Ed. Ray Harryhausen was a visual effects pioneer, particularly in stop-motion animation, best known for the dinosaurs in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963), which features an epic battle against an army of skeletons. Albert Whitlock won academy awards for his visual effects work on Earthquake (1975) and The Hindenburg (1976).


Whitlock is hands down the greatest matte painter in film history, and Douglas Trumbull’s 2001 and Blade Runner were able to bring convincing technological visions of the future with believable hardware and a mind blowing psychedelia. How is it different to sketch for a film versus sketching for a painting? Well it’s not different at all in terms of the execution—it’s all the same to me. But what I found particularly wonderful about working with Ang [Lee] and whoever else I was collaborating with on the movie was listening to other people, which is very different than what I’m used to doing. Linear story telling was also very exciting and taught me a lot. There’s already an element of storytelling in a lot of your paintings as well. Well, being evocative and telling a story are very different. And I think that’s why painting is ideal for me in so many ways, because I can create evocative images. Telling a linear story is something that I still haven’t— I wouldn’t even say mastered—even gotten a handle on. Now what did Ang Lee want initially when you first got together? This was still in the early development stages of the film in October of 2009. Ang asked me if I had ideas about any of the sequences in the script. The French Chef sequence is really what you had in mind initially when you contacted me, because of my painting Manifest Destiny, which is flooded New York.2There was a flooded city in that sequence in the script, and you thought that I might be able to help. The other thing that Ang was very clear about was that he was interested in the idea of watercolor, which I had been doing for many years. He wanted to have the bloom of the material be very much a part of everything that I was doing. And he showed me Chinese landscape painting. He had a stack of books that he encouraged me to look at. And the idea of doing something in a digital language that was really trying to use the materials and the sense of intimacy of watercolor I thought was brilliant and very exciting.

2

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Ed. The “French Chef sequence” is discussed in more detail below.


This was early on, and there was a concern for trying to re-incorporate the human hand and material textures in an essentially immaterial— Simulated, digital world. A world of ones and zeros. It’s a world where everything is controlled to the nth degree, and in the case of watercolors, the way that pigment and water sort of bloom on paper is unpredictable. It’s out of control, and the more you get out of its way the better. So you did different things in different areas, beginning with the pitch drawings, which were presenting an idealized vision of certain images in Life of Pi for the executives at 20th Century Fox; then there’re visualizations, which were about sketching out ideas for the film itself; and then in the end there was something much more involved, which is the centerpiece of the show, the Tiger Vision sequence.3 The pitch drawings, like Pi and Richard Parker on the ocean, were very straightforward. I just put the boat on the ocean and figured out the atmosphere. The bloom of the colors on paper mimics cloud formation, weather patterns and so on. Absolutely. Now the island was by far the most involved in terms of what ended up in the movie. I tried to treat the island as if it were a believable ecosystem even though it’s a completely impossible situation. We looked at the history of the Sargasso Sea, mangrove swamps, other ecosystems that have a connection to something like that. And then I looked at a lot of root systems, palms, etc. And one of the things that was very clear from the beginning from you and production designer David Gropman was the idea of the banyan tree. That was something that we had seen in India. Banyans branch out laterally, so that one tree can end up covering an entire park—it’s one

3

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Ed. On the “Tiger Vision sequence” see below.


single tree with no origin and no end. It was an associative way of connecting the island, which is a very alien ecosystem, to something very familiar and very Indian—and actually part of Ang’s childhood as well, since banyans are fairly common in Taiwan. I also remember walking through the rainforest while doing a project in Madagascar and looking at trees and thinking about the island while I was there. For the freshwater swim holes I looked at wicker baskets and lobster traps. The pools were supposed to be very innocuous and utopian during the day, and then at night they became these horrifying vats of acid. That would actually trap fish. It was a tremendous amount of fun doing dozens of drawings, figuring out the logic of the island. And the effects people at Rhythm and Hues did a fantastic job with it. It looked so beautiful. Well it’s the part of the movie that would challenge the viewer’s belief. It was the part that had the most anxiety for me—you know the tiger is great, the ocean’s great, the sky is great. They’re all just immaculately real, but what about this island? I remember trying to talk Ang out of having the island at all—he dispatched me with a gesture. Of course he was right. Now there’s also this other thing called the French Chef sequence. What was that? Well, it was very vague in the script other than the fact that Pi is at the end of his rope and he goes to the bottom of the ocean in a dream sequence and sees his family and a flooded city. It ended up as this amazing combination of psychedelic natural history and Bollywood musical that takes place in a setting of the religious architecture that Pi loves, zoo animals, and his family together having a picnic at the bottom of the ocean. It was potentially one of the most insane imaginative sequences ever in cinema, and luckily I was slightly skeptical that the studio would ever agree to fund it. It was still a huge blow when Ang told me that it wasn’t going to happen. So that was the end of that.

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This sequence is really about the melding of religious architecture and natural formations. Right. And that was something that we developed, the idea of taking hydrothermal vents’ ecosystems and turning them into buildings and architectural spaces. So that kind of fell by the wayside. But one thing that we did develop that is a good bridge into the Tiger Vision sequence—on the way down we visited a squid made out of ocean life and a whale made out of zoo animals, and that was suggested by composite paintings in Indian art. Yeah, miniature paintings where an animal, say a camel’s outline, will be rendered as a cluster of different animals, tigers and so on. And it became this great metaphor for the battle between Pi’s memory of where he was coming from and where he was. The thing about the French Chef sequence, which also carried over and essentially formed the through-line of the Tiger Vision sequence, is the idea of verticality. Life of Pi is essentially very much a horizontal movie because it’s about the wide ocean spaces, the horizon and so on, and there’s a sort of infinity there. But there’s another infinity, which is the infinite depths of the ocean. And one of the interesting things is that the Tsim Tsum, the freighter that Pi and his family and the zoo animals are on, sinks over the Marianas trench. The deepest spot on earth. So the idea was that the verticality would be going on inside of the self, inside of Pi’s dreams and memories. And bringing Richard Parker and Pi together at the same time. The way we first started, I brought in a big sketchbook and I made a line across the top and I drew the boat, and then I drew a line across the bottom and I drew the Tsim Tsum and I was like, all right, what happens in between? Right in the middle we put the squid and the whale, and then

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we built everything out of that. It starts out on the surface of the ocean, and as you go down it gets stranger and stranger. And of course your suggestion was to have Pi’s mother—her head, a portrait—made out of bioluminescent organisms— Yeah, sort of an apparition. Now one of the purposes of the French Chef sequence originally was connected to the second story that Pi tells, which is the “realistic” tale, the one without the animals that involves cannibalism and murder and so on. It’s something that could not be represented on screen, especially for a movie that had to stay within a certain rating, and also to some extent for aesthetic reasons. And so the French chef sequence was a way of displacing that violence and cannibalism into a dreamlike series of images that would allude to it in a more oblique fashion. Absolutely. There were so many layers of informational meaning in the French Chef sequence. I forgot about the banquet table where there would be a Gerard Depardieu, who plays the French Chef, made out of meat. That was the Arcimboldo element. Right. And then the mother made out of ocean life. Aspects of that sequence ended up being distilled into Tiger Vision. So what is Tiger Vision exactly? Well I remember when Ang first started talking about the word “tigervision.” It was this idea that you would see the world through the tiger’s eyes. And I started to think about how cats and big predators see things, and I started to think about light and movement. Initially I went back to what the predator in the movie Predator saw, that sense of highlights and movement. And then I thought, that’s so familiar at this point. But later it became clear that Tiger Vision was really a way of bringing Pi and the tiger together, showing that they’re very close, if not exactly the same being, that there’s a sense of empathy to say the least. So we would start off seeing very straightforward nocturnal ocean life at the surface, and as you go down in the water column you’ d start to see things transform. So then I thought, what would a tiger be interested in if it

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could go down hundreds of feet in the water? I started to look at sushi models from Japan and plastic models of fish anatomy, and I started to have this idea that you would start to see into the fish and they would start to look like food. And then that got us to the squid and the whale— that’s the tipping point. That’s when you know you’re in a strange world. And I realized I had to make a very simple, strong character, and that was the vampire squid, and the angler fish with the bioluminescent lure. Now the funny thing of course about deep-sea creatures is that no matter what you came up with, the ocean would probably have something— More strange. Exactly. And the role of a creature in this sequence is to look simultaneously familiar and other in a convincing fashion—it was basically two creatures put together. And then from there evolved the idea of just this phantasmagorical psychedelia made out of bioluminescent organisms. That’s where we brought back in some of the visual motifs from earlier in the film, including the kolam patterns, the South Indian threshold paintings that women make with rice flour or pigment outside of their houses. These have geometrical patterns, but at the same time, if you rotate them, they could look like diatoms or other microscopic sea organisms. That was a transitional point to evoking the mother’s image, since she’s shown earlier in the film making a kolam. So what was the process with Tiger Vision? Well, what happened was, as I said earlier, we took a sheet of paper and we did a vertical chart like you would see in National Geographic, showing a water column and where things would happen. And then I tried to break it down into a series of very simple diagrams in boxes, like a storyboard. And then I would go back to my studio and make gouache drawings on black paper. And that was the first time you used black paper, right? Absolutely, because I was sick of putting black ink around whatever I had done on white paper—there’s no light in the depth of the ocean, why not have it be on black paper? It turned out I love the drawings.

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It was one of the great byproducts of the experience, making myself do something new. The drawings had their own life. They weren’t just sketches. Just to get back to the French Chef and to cannibalism, there was definitely an allusion to the mother’s fate in the second story that you came up with, the idea of the knife fish, right? Yes, and that knife fish was something that I had a personal connection to, because my partner Dorothy’s mother—the fish itself was named after her, after she died. It’s actually a freshwater fish that lives in South America. I felt the more you can have things mean stuff to you, the better off you are, no matter what you’re doing. And the idea of the knife fish swimming across the apparition of the mother’s neck, breaking that up, became this Oedipal moment. It was an interesting way to incorporate that violence in a dreamlike way. Tell me a little bit about the company that did the sequence. When Tiger Vision did get the green light, at first, we would see cuts of the movie, and it would just be a dozen of my drawings in sequence as a place holder, while the animators at BUF—which is a special effects company based in Paris—were working on it. There were a few things I would’ve done differently, but there were even more things about it that I thought were far better than anything I could’ve thought of. BUF brought a lot of their own creativity and vision to it. But Tiger Vision still emerges very much out of the drawings and is faithful to them. So I think that’s a good example of how the whole conceptual process that went with the drawings really informed the final product. BUF also incorporated a lot of the watercolor bloom effect. Because it’s a dreamlike sequence, that’s the one area where the digital imagery of the film is able to hearken back to random processes and material pigment and paper. It’s allowed to because it doesn’t have to be literally— Photorealistic. One of the things that we all agreed on was that we had to make something that couldn’t be the Discovery Channel and couldn’t be Avatar. It had to be its own world completely. And the challenge

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was to find things that had never been seen before, and that was really when all my hours watching every movie ever made became helpful, because you know what not to do. I always had the Stargate sequence from 2001 in mind. And the other thing that I remember was when Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life came out, and I thought, this has to compete with The Tree of Life. Both sequences were designed by Douglas Trumbull. It’s interesting to talk about the Stargate sequence, because Tiger Vision also represents a moment of going from one state into another. It’s disruptive in a way, but it’s also organic, and it’s a gateway from the realism of the first part of the film, which allows us to make the transition to the island. It jars our perceptions and our sense of what the possibilities of the film are, and it opens them up, so that it helps us accept the island more than we might have normally if we had gotten to it just by drifting there on the surface of the ocean. And watching it again and again over the last couple of months, I realize that part of the reason it worked so well is the setup in terms of the editing. There are a couple of moments before the Tiger Vision sequence when Pi sends up a flare, and there’s a sense of disappointment and desolation that comes from this—watching this ship disappear off the horizon that’s not going to rescue him. Then you see the very lyrical image looking down from above on Pi and Richard Parker. And you see this improbable cornucopia of ocean life going under them. I mean the editor, Tim Squyres, and Ang deserve so much credit for making that even possible. The other thing I wanted to mention is Mychal Danna’s score—the more I listen to it the better it is. It’s just fantastic and helps everything in so many ways, not unlike Max Steiner. Looking forward to working in film again maybe? I’ d love to if the right project comes along.

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Presentation to 20th Century Fox

21


PL . 1

Presentation to Fox (Pi Adrift), 2009


PL . 2

Presentation to Fox (Island Pi Swimming), 2009


PL . 3

Presentation to Fox (Island Pool at Night), 2009


PL . 4

Presentation to Fox (French Chef), 2009


The Island

27


PL . 5

Study for Pi and Richard Parker, 2009


PL . 6

Study for Island, 2009


PL . 7

Study for Island Scale, 2009


PL . 8

Study for Island Coast, 2009


PL . 9

Study for Island, 2009


PL . 10

Study for Island Pool, 2009


PL . 11

Study for Island Pool, 2009


PL . 12

Study for Island Pool Section, 2009


PL . 13

Various Studies, 2009


PL . 14

Study for Island Pool, 2009


PL . 15

Study for Island (Root Tip and Trunk), 2009


PL . 16

Study for Island (Root Tip), 2009


PL . 17

Study for Island (Root Tip), 2009


PL . 18

Study for Island (Pool), 2009


PL . 19

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker, Base of Tree), 2009


PL . 20

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker Cuddle), 2009


PL . 21

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker Cuddle 2), 2009


PL . 22

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker in Tree), 2009


PL . 23

Study for Island (Fruit, Squid, Zebra), 2009


PL . 24

Study for Island Fruit, 2009


PL . 25

Study for Island (Looking Down), 2009


PL . 26

Study for Island (Pool at Night), 2009


Storm of God

53


PL . 27

Study for Storm of God, 2009


French Chef Sequence

55


PL . 28

Study for French Chef (Squid/Whale Composite), 2010


PL . 29

Study for French Chef (Whale Composite), 2010


PL . 30

Study for French Chef (Whale Composite), 2010


PL . 31

Study for French Chef (Elephant Sea Life Composite), 2009


PL . 32

Study for French Chef (Cosmography Master), 2010


Tiger Vision

63


PL . 33

Study for Tiger Vision (Tuna 8/17/11), 2011


PL . 34

Study for Tiger Vision (Shark 8/12/11), 2011


PL . 35

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish 11/7/11), 2011


PL . 36

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish 8/12/11), 2011


PL . 37

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish 8/9/11), 2011


PL . 38

Study for Tiger Vision (Squid 8/12/11), 2011


PL . 39

Study for Tiger Vision (Tunicate 8/5/11), 2011


PL . 40

Study for Tiger Vision (Squid/Whale Composite 8/26/11), 2011


PL . 41

Study for Tiger Vision (Richard Parker’s Forest), 2011


PL . 42

Study for Tiger Vision (Richard Parker’s Forest), 2011


PL . 43

Study for Tiger Vision (Richard Parker’s Forest), 2011


PL . 44

Study for Tiger Vision (Angler Fish/Vampire Squid Composite 8/23/11), 2011


PL . 45

Study for Tiger Vision (Angler Composite 2 8/28/11), 2011


PL . 46

Study for Tiger Vision (Fish in Jellyfish 1 8/30/11), 2011


PL . 47

Study for Tiger Vision (Fish in Jellyfish 2 8/30/11), 2011


PL . 48

Study for Tiger Vision (Fish in Jellyfish 3 8/30/11), 2011


PL . 49

Study for Tiger Vision (Fish in Jellyfish 4 12/1/11), 2011


PL . 50

Study for Tiger Vision (Fish in Jellyfish 5 12/1/11), 2011


PL . 51

Study for Tiger Vision (Bioluminescence 8/22/11), 2011


PL . 52

Study for Tiger Vision (Pea Fowl 8/16/11), 2011


PL . 53

Study for Tiger Vision (Rat Tail 8/16/11), 2011


PL . 54

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 1 9/20/11), 2011


PL . 55

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 2 9/20/11), 2011


PL . 56

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 3 9/20/11), 2011


PL . 57

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 4 9/20/11), 2011


PL . 58

Study for Tiger Vision (Kolum 9/20/11), 2011


PL . 59

Study for Tiger Vision (Gita 11/30/11), 2011


PL . 60

Study for Tiger Vision (Knifefish 12/7/11), 2011


PL . 61

Study for Tiger Vision (Tsim Tsum 8/26/11), 2011


LIST OF WORKS

PL. 7

Study for Island Scale, 2009 All works courtesy of the artist and

Watercolor and ink on paper

20th Century Fox.

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

PL. 1

PL. 8

Presentation to Fox (Pi Adrift), 2009

Study for Island Coast, 2009

Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper

Watercolor on paper

18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm)

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

PL. 2

PL. 9

Presentation to Fox (Island Pi Swimming), 2009

Study for Island, 2009

Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper

Pencil on paper

18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm)

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

PL. 3

PL. 10

Presentation to Fox (Island Pool at Night), 2009

Study for Island Pool, 2009

Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper

Pen on paper

18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm)

5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

PL. 4

PL. 11

Presentation to Fox (French Chef), 2009

Study for Island Pool, 2009

Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper

Pen on paper

3 sheets: 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm) each;

5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

54 x 24 inches (137.2 x 61 cm) overall PL. 12 PL. 5

Study for Island Pool Section, 2009

Study for Pi and Richard Parker, 2009

Micron pen on paper

Pencil on paper

5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

5 x 8 inches (2.7 x 20.3 cm) PL. 13 PL. 6

Various Studies, 2009

Study for Island, 2009

Micron pen and pencil on paper

Ballpoint pen on paper

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm) PL. 14

Study for Island Pool, 2009 Micron pen on paper 5 x 7 inches (12.7 x 17.8 cm)

104


PL. 15

PL. 22

Study for Island (Root Tip and Trunk), 2009

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker in Tree),

Watercolor on paper

2009

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

Watercolor on paper 8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

PL. 16

Study for Island (Root Tip), 2009

PL. 23

Watercolor and pencil on paper

Study for Island (Fruit, Squid, Zebra), 2009

5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

Micron pen on paper 5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

PL. 17

Study for Island (Root Tip), 2009

PL. 24

Pencil on paper

Study for Island Fruit, 2009

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21. 6 x 30.5 cm)

Micron pen on paper 5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

PL. 18

Study for Island (Pool), 2009

PL. 25

Watercolor and ink on paper

Study for Island (Looking Down), 2009

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

Ballpoint pen on paper 5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

PL. 19

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker,

PL. 26

Base of Tree), 2009

Study for Island (Pool at Night), 2009

Watercolor on paper

Ballpoint pen on paper

8 1/2 x 12 inches (21.6 x 30.5 cm)

5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

PL. 20

PL. 27

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker Cuddle),

Study for Storm of God, 2009

2009

Red pen on paper

Watercolor and pencil on paper

5 x 8 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

8 1/2 x 11 inches (21.6 x 27.9 cm) PL. 28 PL. 21

Study for French Chef (Squid/Whale Composite),

Study for Island (Pi & Richard Parker Cuddle

2010

2), 2009

Prismacolor pencil on paper

Watercolor and pencil on paper

8 1/2 x 11 inches (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

8 1/2 x 11 inches (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

105


PL. 29

PL. 36

Study for French Chef (Whale Composite), 2010

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish 8/12/11), 2011

Pencil on paper

Gouache on black paper

5 x 16 inches (12.7 x 20.3 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 30

PL. 37

Study for French Chef (Whale Composite), 2010

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish 8/9/11), 2011

Prismacolor pencil on paper

Gouache on black paper

8 1/4 x 11 inches (21 x 27.9 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 31

PL. 38

Study for French Chef (Elephant Sea Life

Study for Tiger Vision (Squid 8/12/11), 2011

Composite), 2009

Gouache on black paper

Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 39 PL. 32

Study for Tiger Vision (Tunicate 8/5/11), 2011

Study for French Chef (Cosmography Master),

Gouache on black paper

2010

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper 23 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches (59 x 21 cm)

PL. 40

Study for Tiger Vision (Squid/Whale Composite PL. 33

8/26/11), 2011

Study for Tiger Vision (Tuna 8/17/11), 2011

Gouache on black paper

Gouache on black paper

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 41 PL. 34

Study for Tiger Vision (Richard Parker’s Forest),

Study for Tiger Vision (Shark 8/12/11), 2011

2011

Gouache on black paper

Watercolor and ink on paper

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 35

PL. 42

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish 11/7/11), 2011

Study for Tiger Vision (Richard Parker’s Forest),

Gouache on black paper

2011

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

Watercolor and ink on paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

106


PL. 43

PL. 49

Study for Tiger Vision (Richard Parker’s Forest),

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish Habitat 4

2011

12/1/11), 2011

Watercolor and ink on paper

Gouache on black paper

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 44

PL. 50

Study for Tiger Vision (Angler Fish/Vampire

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish Habitat 5

Squid Composite 8/23/11), 2011

12/1/11), 2011

Gouache on black paper

Gouache on black paper

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 45

PL. 51

Study for Tiger Vision (Angler Composite 2

Study for Tiger Vision (Bioluminescence 8/22/11),

8/28/11), 2011

2011

Gouache on black paper

Gouache on black paper

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 46

PL. 52

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish Habitat 1

Study for Tiger Vision (Pea Fowl 8/16/11), 2011

8/30/11), 2011

Gouache on black paper

Gouache on black paper

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 53 PL. 47

Study for Tiger Vision (Rat Tail 8/16/11), 2011

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish Habitat 2

Gouache on black paper

8/30/11), 2011

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 54

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 1 9/20/11), PL. 48

2011

Study for Tiger Vision (Jellyfish Habitat 3

Gouache on black paper

8/30/11), 2011

8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

PL. 55

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 2 9/20/11), 2011 Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

107


PL. 56

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 3 9/20/11), 2011 Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 57

Study for Tiger Vision (Cosmography 4 9/20/11), 2011 Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 58

Study for Tiger Vision (Kolum 9/20/11), 2011 Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 59

Study for Tiger Vision (Gita 11/30/11), 2011 Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 60

Study for Tiger Vision (Knifefish 12/7/11), 2011 Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm) PL. 61

Study for Tiger Vision (Tsim Tsum 8/26/11), 2011 Gouache on black paper 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (21 x 29.2 cm)

108


CONTRIBUTOR BIO

Jean-Christophe Castelli worked as a magazine editor and freelance writer, publishing articles in Vanity Fair, Esquire and Filmmaker, before moving into film. For seven years he was the story editor at the New York independent production company Good Machine. There he developed many film projects and began a long working relationship with Ang Lee on The Ice Storm (1997), followed by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). While pursuing his own writing projects, Castelli has continued to do development work for Lee, most recently as Associate Producer on Life of Pi (2012).


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Co-Chairs

Alexis Rockman: Drawings from Life of Pi is made

Frances Beatty Adler

possible by an anonymous donor. Additional

Eric Rudin

support is provided by Richard Edwards, Baldwin

Jane Dresner Sadaka

Gallery, Aspen, and James Salomon.

Treasurer Stacey Goergen Secretary Dita Amory Brad Cloepfil Anita F. Contini Steven Holl Rhiannon Kubicka David Lang Merrill Mahan Iris Z. Marden Nancy Poses Pat Steir Barbara Toll Isabel Stainow Wilcox Candace Worth Emeritus Melva Bucksbaum Frances Dittmer Bruce W. Ferguson Michael Lynne George Negroponte Elizabeth Rohatyn Jeanne C. Thayer Executive Director Brett Littman


E D WA R D H A L L A M T U C K P U B L I C AT I O N P R O G R A M

This is number 107 of the Drawing Papers, a series of publications documenting The Drawing Center’s exhibitions and public programs and providing a forum for the study of drawing. Jonathan T.D. Neil Executive Editor Joanna Ahlberg Managing Editor Designed by Peter J. Ahlberg / AHL&CO This book is set in Adobe Garamond Pro and Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk. It was printed by Bookmobile in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

LIBR ARY OF CONGRESS CONTROL NUMBER : TKTKTK I S B N 9 7 8 - 0 - 9 4 2 3 24 -7 7- 8 © 2 013 T he D rawing C enter


T H E D R AW I N G PA P E R S S E R I E S A L S O I N C L U D E S

Drawing Papers 106 Susan Hefuna and Luca Veggetti: NOTATIONOTATIONS Drawing Papers 105 Ken Price: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper 1962–2010 Drawing Papers 104 Giosetta Fioroni: L’Argento Drawing Papers 103 Igancio Uriarte: Line of Work Drawing Papers 102 Alexandre Singh: The Pledge Drawing Papers 101 José Antonio Suárez Londoño: The Yearbooks Drawing Papers 100 Guillermo Kuitca: Diarios Drawing Papers 99 Sean Scully: Change and Horizontals Drawing Papers 98 Drawing and its Double: Selections from the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica Drawing Papers 97 Dr. Lakra Drawing Papers 96 Drawn from Photography Drawing Papers 95 Day Job Drawing Papers 94 Paul Rudolph: Lower Manhattan Expressway Drawing Papers 93 Claudia Wieser: Poems of the Right Angle Drawing Papers 92 Gerhard Richter: “Lines which do not exist” Drawing Papers 91 Dorothea Tanning: Early Designs for the Stage Drawing Papers 90 Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion? Drawing Papers 89 Selections Spring 2010: Sea Marks Drawing Papers 88 Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary Drawing Papers 87 Ree Morton: At the Still Point of the Turning World Drawing Papers 86 Unica Zurn: Dark Spring Drawing Papers 85 Sun Xun: Shock of Time Drawing Papers 84 Selections Spring 2009: Apparently Invisible Drawing Papers 83 M/M: Just Like an Ant Walking on the Edge of the Visible Drawing Papers 82 Matt Mullican: A Drawing Translates the Way of Thinking Drawing Papers 81 Greta Magnusson Grossman: Furniture and Lighting Drawing Papers 80 Kathleen Henderson: What if I Could Draw a Bird that Could Change the World? Drawing Papers 79 Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings

T O O R D E R , A N D F O R A C O M P L E T E C ATA L O G U E O F PA S T E D I T I O N S , V I S I T D R AW I N G C E N T E R . O R G


THE D R AWI N G CENTER

3 5 W O O S T E R S T R E E T | N E W YO R K , N Y 10 013 T 212 219 216 6 | F 212 9 6 6 2 9 76 | D R AW I N G C E N T E R . O R G


Interview by Jean-Christophe Castelli

D R AW I N G PA P E R S 1 07

$18.00 US

ISBN 9 78 0 9 42 324778 518 0 0

9

780942

324778

Profile for The Drawing Center

Alexis Rockman: Drawings from The Life of Pi  

The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers Volume 107 featuring a conversation between Alexis Rockman and Jean-Christophe Castelli.

Alexis Rockman: Drawings from The Life of Pi  

The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers Volume 107 featuring a conversation between Alexis Rockman and Jean-Christophe Castelli.

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