Friday, 29 June 2012

CARTER GOODRICH


Last week I wrote that animated films are  corporate artwork, polished and refined by so many committees that it is often difficult to find the fingerprints of any individual artist in the end product.

But sometimes an individual artist's voice is so powerful that it survives the corporate de-flavorizing machine.  We can still see the impact of Eyvind Earle's contribution to the film Sleeping Beauty or Mary Blair's contribution to films such as Make Mine Music and Alice in Wonderland-- films that ended up far better off because of distinctive individual voices.

One of the very few artists working in the field today with that kind of visual strength is the brilliant Carter Goodrich.

When I began clipping his work from magazines, I didn't know his name but his distinctive style was easy to recognize.  

A common scene presented in an innovative way 

This marvelous bear foretells characters in the film, Brave


I later learned Goodrich's name from his New Yorker covers which strike me as smart, beautiful and true:




His children's books are also beautifully illustrated:

The scary bed: spend some time with this wonderful image.

 Goodrich has worked on a number of important animated films such as Finding Nemo, Despicable Me, and Ratatouille.  Most recently, he did character design on  Brave from Pixar.


Dozens of talented artists made important contributions to Brave, and I don't mean to underestimate the value of their work.  But for me the flavor of Goodrich's talent is unmistakeable, and the film is better off for it




New digital media delivered through corporate distribution chains have homogenized and sanitized many of the traditional roles of the individual artist.

However, even in corporate art some elements of personal taste remain indigestible and undilutable.  Those elements often account for the very best of the art form.