Strangers Steal Like An Artist

Master_Nick-pier2013Some say “Write you know,” and that’s a good place to start, but what of imagination?
The mind’s eye broadens our horizons, expands our idea of the possible.
Is it right that one imagination, or indeed several, may inspire another?
Damned right.
Art doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The very urge to create, and the methods by which we do, predate our efforts. Art inspires artistic aspiration. As well it should.

There exists a fine example.

Dark City is one of my all time favorite movies. In sooth, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it. Yet for me, originality is not its primary appeal.

Writer/director Alex Proyas blends several beloved genres—noir, science fiction and elements of horror—and seamlessly interweaves many familiar threads. One mystery follows a man with amnesia seeking to rediscover himself. An intersecting plot involves a detective on the hunt for a killer much like Jack the Ripper. There’s even a mad doctor—that is to say, a doctor who has lost his mind.

Operating behind the scenes are The Strangers.
When moving above ground, the aesthetic of The Strangers differs little from cinema’s creepiest vampire, Count Orlock, Nosferatu, yet with many other villains’ obligatory black hats. When they are alone with their own kind in their hidden lair, their look is not unlike the cenobites of Hellraiser, perhaps with touches of Star Trek’s Borg.

None of these elements are new. The appeal, the thrill, the art is in how they’re brought together.

Therein lies a lesson for painters, writers, filmmakers, artists of every medium. Do you want to have fantastic adventures, explore other worlds and meet strange creatures? Excellent. Worry not that others have blazed all trails already. You can find little-known places where existing paths intersect. You perceive with a fresh set of senses. You select which elements you will commit to the ages. You lend your own hands to Art’s great continuum.

Go forth, and bring back news!

Master Nick Roberts © 2013

My sweetie snapped the above shot while we were on vacation. The pier reminded me of Shell Beach, one of Dark City’s more elusive locations. I stand as a stranger, exploring outside the accustomed environment, and bringing images of what I’ve seen in this world and beyond.

There shall be more tomorrow.
Stay tuned!

Read more on the topic of art and originality:

Catch updates on my many twisted works!

For disturbing fiction, read “Gonzombie and Other Dark Tales”


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