Conversation Piece

Meet David Lynch's Supernatural Femme Fatale

Meet David Lynch's Supernatural Femme Fatale
David Lynch's Flying Woman, 2010

Here’s what you need to know about David Lynch’s Flying Woman, a mysterious and alluring lithograph by the famed filmmaker.

1. Though he’s best known as the auteur behind cult-classic films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Mullholland Drive, Lynch started his career in the arts as a painter. He studied briefly at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, before moving to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he was inspired by painters including Oskar Kokoschka and Francis Bacon.

2. The director approaches his works on paper and canvas with the same brooding, psychologically-driven intensity that he brings to his film projects, which are often distinguished by darkly mesmerizing female leads. “All my paintings are organic, violent comedies," he has said. "They have to be violently done and primitive and crude, and to achieve that I try to let nature paint more than I paint.”

3. In this lithograph, produced in a small edition of only 15, Lynch combines an expressionistic hand with his signature dreamlike imagery to create a foreboding composition—it’s unclear if the figure’s face bears a look of terror or ecstasy.

4. Lynch often incorporates fragments of text into his works, as he has here in Flying Woman. His use of language is as formal as it is descriptive; “The words excite me as shapes,” he’s said. “They just look good all lined up like teeth.”

5. It may be that Lynch will soon be more famous that ever. His riveting, terrifying '90s TV show "Twin Peaks" will be resuming next year, exactly a quarter century after Laura Palmer prophetically said, "I'll see you in 25 years" in the final episode.


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