ville sans soleil
How can one not enjoy—nay stare with eyes glued to the screen enjoying—this exquisite re-imagining of Chris Marker’s chef-d’oeuvre? The painting is the work of moonywolf and is titled “ville sans soleil.” It was published to Deviant Art, a rich reservoir of internet-era artistic talent. Moonywolf can be found at www.deviantart.com/moonywolf.
Her portfolio is absolutely stunning, extending from delicate line drawings to world-building on a level of a C.S. Lewis, a J.R.R. Tolkien, an N.K. Jemesin (The Broken Earth, The Inheritance Trilogy, The Dreamblood Duology). There is a definite Japanese flavor to her work that aligns it all the more with the sensibilities of Chris Marker, so it is fitting she chose to invent her own walk-around-the-worldcity depiction of the great film. As we will see, she is also a Tim Burton fan. It would not be too much of a stretch to liken her work as well to that of Gustav Klimt, if Klimt had been a girl and grown up in Tokyo. Well, in fact there was a woman, a French painter, who reveled in a similar style…
Anne Marie Zimmerman, a French painter at the turn of the 20th century, was a friend of Gustav Klimt. In this justifiably celebrated painting she uses, akin to Klimt, gold leaf to create, like moonywolf, a striking image of feminine emotion. Klimt himself went through a so-called Golden Phase starting in 1902 with his Beethoven Frieze—a 112-foot-long wall cycle created for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition.
Both painters feel hyper-contemporary today, as the use of rich colors, awe-inspiring detail, and emotional symbols have migrated somehow into 21st century illustration. The pastel feeling of the houses and backdrops of the Sans Soleil city painting is heightened by its play with dark rays and a deep selva oscura solar backdrop replete with haptic texture. One could spend days wandering in moonywolf, Zimmerman, and Klimt’s sensual imagery, creating a new type of Markerian aesthetic time travel via color and symbolic resonance.