David Lynch

David Lynch (b. 1946) was trained as a painter although he is best known for his internationally acclaimed film career. He is also a writer, photographer, musician, composer, sculptor, cartoonist, and a printmaker. After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, he moved to Los Angeles in 1970 to study filmmaking at the AFI Center for Advanced Film Studies. During his time there, Lynch began working on what would become his first feature, Eraserhead. Lynch has since received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his films The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Drive (2001). His accolades also include the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Wild At Heart, a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival, and France’s Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film for The Elephant Man and Mulholland Drive. His work as a painter provides a deeper understanding of his vision and also reveals a vital source of inspiration for his instantly recognizable filmmaking aesthetic. Lynch’s paintings and prints are characterized by its absence of color. He believes that black is a liberating factor, and he uses it to make his works more dreamlike. A major retrospective of Lynch’s artwork called The Air Is on Fire was displayed in Paris at the Fondation Cartier in 2007. In 2011, an extensive collection of his drawings, paintings, and photographs was published in the book Dark Splendor.

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