Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bodhi Wind

I remember trepidation the moment I first touched a brush to a wall with the intent to paint something other than just a single color. It's thrilling too because I think it's a primal urge, a relic behavior, like cave painting. After you start painting imagery on walls you notice that sort of thing more. Actually I have a vivid memory of noticing an instance of murals years before I became a muralist. It was in the movie: 3 Women. Tellingly the director, Robert Altman, said of his work as a film maker, "I look at it like a painting". His movie is absolutely fascinating, conceived in a dream and dream-like itself.

Janice Rule plays the dark and mysterious painter and but it was Bodhi Wind behind the scenes who conceived and painted the murals for the sets. The imagery is fantastical and ultimately symbolic of the dynamics in the narrative and subtext. There are creatures which I interpret as not so much male and female but apsects of our personalities: Jungian, Freudian, or what have you. It's been tucked in the back of my mind ever since. I mean I've not only been haunted by the film, the characters, and the paintings, but also the idea of wanting to paint a pool.

In the movie there are actually a number of instances of Bodhi Wind's paintings including the opening and closing credits. There are two pools, one is derelict and empty, the other filled with water. Both ideas have an appeal as a blank canvas. An unfilled one might be a skateboard park. That could be fun and add an extra vertiginous thrill for the skateboarders. I'm not sure what I'd paint but there is a sort of figure that appears now and then in my work that is reminiscent of the 3 Women paintings. It's slinky and scaly and has strange ways.


  1. I like your blog and I loved the movie. You're paintings are beautiful and really impressive. Keep up the good work. Being an artist is never easy. Thanks for the visuals.

  2. Hi Scott, Where did you get the photos of Bodhi and Geary in the pool? I often wonder if the images used in Avatar were influenced by Bodhi's work. I wonder if Cameron or people working on the project had seen Bodhi's work in 3 Women, at Altman's house, or in Bodhi's paintings he created when he worked and lived in LA? In my mind they are just too similar to be coincidence. What do you think?

  3. Discokachina! What great name.

    I did search online for info about Bodhi but I'm pretty sure all the stills are my own. I just played the DVD, paused the image, and shot the TV screen. The DVD came with extra info about Bodhi and Altman makes some comments about working with him.

    I didn't see Avatar.

    Hope you will visit my blog post about Bodhi Wind's artwork

    1. RuthieE, thanks so much for visiting and revealing more of the Bodhi Wind story in your blog.

  5. Geary lives in my building and we chat occasionally. He mentioned that, contrary to what the magazine article had said, he did not just paint the background but also worked on painting the figures.


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