Michael C. McMillen: Train of Thought Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak Street, Oakland Through August 16 The Oakland Museum of California’s new exhibit looks at four decades of work by Michael C. McMillen, a California-based mixed-media artist. Curated by Philip Linhares, who is also a long-time collaborator of McMillen’s, the retrospective includes sculptures, tableaus, paintings, drawings, films, and large-scale installations. Found objects have long played an important part in McMillen’s work since childhood, when he began crafting toys for himself out of old radios and other discarded items. The artist’s creations often call to mind the cinematic landscapes of a Hollywood picture, somewhat appropriate given that he once worked making miniatures, like the motel model above, and props for films, including such sci-fi classics as Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. McMillen often uses architectural references and clever visual cues to transport viewers into an altered reality. He wants viewers to “come away from the experience seeing the world in a slightly different way,” McMillen said in an artist’s statement.
Posts tagged with "Blade Runner":
Talk of William Pereira’s Geisel Library, the well-known symbol of UC San Diego, has been abuzz online because of its Snow Fortress doppelganger in Inception, which has so far totaled close to half a billion dollars in ticket sales. Built in the late 1960s, this textbook example of Brutalism perfectly encapsulates the hostile, uncommunicative theme of Inception. Critics of the style say Brutalist architecture disregards the history and harmony of its environment. Thus, the Snow Fortress, featured at the film’s climax, is a symbol of disregard for preordained fate. Although the Geisel Library, named after Theodore Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss, was conceived over five decades ago, it does not seem out of place in a futuristic world. Similarly, the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles, designed by George H. Wyman, was built in 1893. Yet, this “retro-futuristic-gothic” building was featured in Blade Runner, The Outer Limits and Mission: Impossible, among others. Minority Report used the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, D.C. as its Orwellian police headquarters (Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House also starred as Harrison Ford's residence in Blade Runner). Greene and Greene's Robert R. Blacker House in Pasadena is an iconically American house that served as Dr. Emmett Brown’s house in Back to the Future and a grandfather’s house in Armageddon. It seems regardless of how futuristic a movie is, the buildings of yesteryear and today can still lend their symbolic power to help layer a movie with meaning.