Luxury Creativity – Behind The Art

© E4 / Ape Inc.

One of the most notable aspects of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is how visually stunning it looks. TVO’s very own art-school Velveteer, Lauren Taylor, has created a mini-guide to some of their artistic inspirations, should any peelers wish to investigate further…

Luxury Comedy is clearly a highly visual affair. Noel and Nigel’s art school background providing a brilliant source for the artistic references weaved into the fabric of the show. Here then, is TVO’s very own mini-guide to a few of the artistic inspirations behind Luxury Comedy, beginning with one of the most obvious references in the show: the pop-art pioneer, Andy Warhol.

Probably most famous for that soup tin, which elbowed his Marilyn Monroe piece into second place in the recognisable images chart, Warhol’s studio – The Factory – was decidedly the most creative place to be in 1960’s America. His visual work was heavily based around consumerism, and how certain branded products are the same regardless of your financial status.

© Andy Warhol

While screenprinting was his medium of choice, as an ideal way to remove evidence of the artist’s involvement, Warhol also had notable success with photography, drawing, sculpture and film.

Though the vibrancy of some of Warhol’s pieces are not a million miles away from the visual look of Luxury Comedy, prehaps a stronger correlation can be drawn between their respective creative environments. Warhol surrounded himself with a range of artists, musicians, writers, and other creatives. Encouraging a level of collaboration not dissimilar from the many levels of creative practice that have gone into Luxury Comedy – music, animation, comedy, illustration…. the list is almost endless.

If you’re in the far south of the UK and want to know more about the Pop Art pioneer, De La Warr Pavillion in East Sussex is hosting ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with the Art Fund’s exhibition – Warhol Is Here – until 26th Feb. For readers across the Atlantic, there’s the dedicated Andy Warhol Museum in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pensylvania.

The show has been described as ‘surreal’ by almost every reviewer out there, which is hardly surprising considering Fielding cites Un Chien Andalou – a short film by Louis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí – as a key influence. With its creators being well known for their part in the Surrealist movement, the film has a dream-like narrative, with tenuous links between the scenes.

© Les Grands Films Classiques

Although there are several theories revolving around desire, and obstacles blocking its path, the creators deny any rational meaning within the film, stating that the scenes came from discussing their down dreams, and then realising them. Thankfully Luxury Comedy remains free from razors to the eye so far, but the refreshing feeling of pure nonsense in the current barrage of more realist comedy is something that Coan and Fielding appreciate as much as Dalí and Buñuel did.

You can get a lovely dual format copy of Un Chien Andalou as an extra on another truly surreal Buñuel and Dalí film – L’Age d’Or, that also includes over an hour and a half of documentary on the life and work of Louis Buñuel. Quick word of warning though, some scenes are not at all for the faint hearted!

© Secret Peter / Channel 4

Luxury Comedy is full of strong, bright paint strokes, through both the animation and costume design. The origins of this loose and spontaneous style can be seen in Fielding’s artwork, which in turn is similar to the paintings of Jean Michel Basquiat. Heavily influenced by his graffiti roots, he created bold, neoexpressionist canvases filled with emotion, in a time when minimalist, conceptual pieces were in fashion.

© Jean Michel Basquiat / OriginalPrints.com

Basquiat made his own mark on the art and music scene before his early death in 1988. So much so that several films and documentaries exist about his life and work: Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child was first shown only two years ago at the Sundance Film Festival, and Basquiat, starring Jeffrey Wright, Gary Oldman, and even David Bowie making an appearance as Andy Warhol. Both of these films you can get your paws on over at the TVO store. You can even make your own attempt at a Basquiat painting, courtesy of Brooklyn Museum by visiting the Street to Studio section.

Over in the TVO Amazon Store you can find a selection of books and videos from the infuences listed above, as well as the likes of Captain Beefheart and a rather exciting-looking Andy Warhol Colouring Book! Come on, who wouldn’t want one of those?

5 Comments on Luxury Creativity – Behind The Art

  1. I love it!! when will it start running in the US?

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  2. The mind of a collective genius. That’s why we love Noel xx

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  3. There was a brilliant exhibition of Warhol’s work at the Lowry Centre (Salford) a while ago. It was lush and atmospheric and even had one of those space age chairs that resemble a huge helmet that you could spin yourself around in (which I did)! Warhol was way ahead of his time in terms of perception. Today “celebrity culture” is enormous and literally anyone (talented or not) could have their 15 minutes if they really wanted it. I think he did have a dark side though – some of his proteges were like social experiments to him and when they did not entertain him anymore (or they had lost their usefulness) he would bin them like yesterday’s rubbish. None the less he was an enigmatic character who was a catalyst in how art was perceived and he more than shaped his generation and the one that followed. Looking forward to the 2nd episode of “Luxury” this evening. What I find so exciting – is that you never know what is coming! The sheer unpredictably and the vivid use of colour is so refreshing for the tv screenl Even its most savage critics cannot help but remark on the gorgeous set designs and quirky characters! It also warms my heart that such a creative concept made it onto our tv screens in the first place. Someone has to take some risks – and there is a market for it!

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  4. I don’t know if it has been talked about already, but Noel’s “Luxury” jacket in the title sequence reminds me of the “Lucifer” jacket in Kenneth Anger’s “Lucifer Rising” (the jacket also made a cameo in an Arctic Monkey’s video awhile back).

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  5. Henri Rousseau , known in France as “Douanier Rousseau ” is also a major influence ; we can see part of one of his pictures on the wall and the jungle surroundings are also inspired by his work.
    I’m glad Frida Kahlo also appeared in the second episode ; you could perhaps add Julie Taymor’s film (“Frida”) to your Amazon store selection ; Salma Hayek is great in it !( a bit sexier than Tom Meeten! )
    And why not add Méliès ‘s ” A Trip to the Moon ” too ?
    Anyway , bravo pour votre travail et votre passion !!

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