Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Rebecca Sugar "Singles" (2009)

Given the popularity of comics in the printed media it is still not as common as one might imagine to view animations displaying the form’s traditional virtues. Rebecca Sugar is one animator who works in this manner, as evidenced in her thesis film Singles (Cartoon Brew) from New York’s School of Visual Arts . She is a rare individual possessing a sublime drawing talent. Singles has a central character with similarities to Homer Simpson save that he has a miniature version of himself embedded inside his chest within a room that mirrors his own room. When he sets about assembling lunch, two slices of bread liberally squirted with the processed cheese "Singles", the room begins to play tricks as does the hand that appears moving him around like some player in his own show. Seeing actions magnified on a giant screen that revolves to match the movements of the guy is disconcerting and it is this play with reality that is the feature of the piece. The animation forms part of a trilogy (Metamorphosis from Mikhail Shraga and Peyton Skyler's Cat). Just one quotation from Rebecca that I liked concerning her film: "I asked my advisor Don Poynter about it, and he said, “But you have only one character, and ‘Singles’ is plural.” I said, “Oh, but he IS plural!” Last Spring Rebecca invited friends to sleep in her bed so she could paint a portrait of them with quick drying acrylic. Her Sleep series is some project.

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