Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Graffiti Moon - Art Gallery

(This is a repost as as I originally put this together in October of last year.  As many of the blogging community discover this book, and its US release in February 2012, I thought it would be helpful to recycle.)

What I know about art can fit in a thimble. It's an area that I am slowly learning more about as I come to accept that I am completely devoid of artistic ability. I was an immediately fan of Cath Crowley's work upon reading A Little Wanting Song and found myself beyond eager to read her follow up title, Graffiti Moon.  It's a smashing story that left me with a need to know the art mentioned in its pages.  Hence this post on the many works of art that are discussed or mentioned in the title.

If there ever were a love letter to the arts, this book is the one.  Crowley has integrated art and the complex emotions that filter throughout the story in an effortless manner.  Normally I read references and forget them straight away but in this case I wrote noted them as I read and looked them all up upon completion.  I hope this serves as a one stop shop for people interested in viewing the art mentioned in this fabulous story of one night,  one graffiti artist, one glass blower and a combie van of hijinks.

*Click on the art piece's title to find its source.

Till the Heart Caves In by Michael Zavros
This drawing is mentioned by Lucy (one of three perspectives) on page 65 as a representation of what she thinks love should be -  "...a horse falling, tumbling from the sky, legs to the clouds.  There's no way to right itself.  It seems to me it doesn't know how it got there, or where it is, or why it's falling."

The Lovers by Rene Magritte

This painting first mentioned by Lucy on page 100 is a reoccurring theme in the book.  There is a weird logic to Lucy's feeling that "...kissing blindfolded like that is the easiest place to start".  I particularly love the final callback to this painting.

Woman with a Crow - Picasso

On page 131 Lucy and Ed have a discussed about the stupidity of people who don't recognise Picasso's brilliance.  It's a moment where they find their footing, both lovers of art and yet disparate in their mediums and in their interactions with one another.

Woman Holding a Balance - Johannes Vermeer

Ed's attachment to Vermeer's work (and as such his connection with Lucy) is an ongoing thread in Graffiti Moon.  He uses this painting, mentioned on page 155, as an inspiration for his graffiti art.  "Mrs J told me once that those scales in his painting weighed something important, something like actions or a soul." It serves as a perfect jumping off point for deeper characterisation and introspection.

No. 301 (Reds and Violet over Red/Red and Blue Over Red) - Rothko

Ed and Lucy viewed this work at a school excursion to the art gallery.  On page 167 he notes " long as you're looking at it, that painting is the world and you get to be in it." If you follow the link attached to the title of this painting you can hear critical insight into the intricacies of Rothko's artistry in this painting.

io from The Spoils -  Sam Leach...this work isn't to be found on the internet but Cath tells me it is similar to this one (also by Leach).

Lucy asks Ed which piece of art first got him hooked (page 168), he lists a title by Australian artist, Sam Leach.  His work is sumptuous and rich.  I am not going to discuss how this plays into the narrative but it is a beautiful concept to tie into what was near and now is far away.

Winged Victory of Samothrace - Sculpture from Ancient Greece

Lucy references this sculpture during a specific moment on page 243 "I hold out my arms and let the change float across my skin...I felt like that Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture that Mrs J showed me.  It's marble, held at the Louvre in Paris....She lost her head along the way but she still looks triumphant.  Half angel, half human, wings spread wide."

Consider yourself a partaker in the Graffiti Moon exhibition :)

I would like to offer a sincere thank you to Cath for granting me permission to reproduce content from her story.

GRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley
August 2010 - PanMacmillan Australia (eBook)
Lucy is in love with Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist.

Ed thought he was in love with Lucy, until she broke his nose.

Dylan loves Daisy, but throwing eggs at her probably wasn't the best way to show it.

Jazz and Leo are slowly encircling each other.

An intense and exhilarating 24 hours in the lives of four teenagers on the verge: of adulthood, of HSC, of finding out just who they are, and who they want to be.

3 comments: said...

Ooo lovely post. I adored this book and its wonderful to see some of the art mentioned :D

I just wish we could see Lucy's bottles! And of course, Shadow's graffiti!

Amy @ Turn the Page YA said...

Just read this book, as I've tweeted to you and Adiba. I love how Carla posted a review of GM today and I am now seeing this post and OMG MY HEART IS EXPLODING.

Sue Bursztynski said...

There's a lot of reference to art in this wonderful book, which deserves every award it got and more. One of my students interviewed Cath on my blog, The Great Raven, back in August, and while it doesn't go into this kind of detail, there's some interesting stuff she said about the art in her book.