Initially the concept for my first ‘Grease’ piece was going to be a gritty take on this classic movie, however I always look to curate a balanced body of work with each new collection and along with the ‘The Time Of My Life’ (Dirty Dancing) image I wanted to offer a much lighter and cute piece that would appeal to a broader cross-section of my collector base. This coupled with producing ‘Summer Lovin’ during the early stages of the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ I embraced the lighter side and the end result is just pure good fun and whimsically retro, as well as bloody bizarre in places!
The scene is set within the sports fields of Rydell High School during the Graduation Festival with the iconic Hollywood hills in the distance. It’s a beautiful Summer’s day, with balloons, bubbles and butterflies in the air with the fair in full swing! The styling for the piece was influenced by a much earlier ‘Mary Poppins’ piece entitled ‘Cast Off Your Shackles’ with the warm contrast between the grass and the sky, an ultimately cute scene that masks some of the subtle naughtiness that has been left by the high school leavers. In past pieces I have shown a carousel but this time I have gone with a cracking helter-skelter that not only looks perfect but allows me to hang so much detail to it, maybe the odd familiar face too!
A common theme within ‘Lost in Hollywood 3’ is the cars, any opportunity and all that! It was impossible to even contemplate not including ‘Greased Lightning’ as well as the flame-clad beast driven by Leo “Crater face” Batmudo, leader of the Scorpions whilst not forgetting the powder pink beauty driven by Rizzo and the Pink Ladies!
Music is always a big part of my work and the ‘Grease’ movie soundtrack offers so many cracking lines that I have loved to make reference in my signature way and hidden for you to seek out. With the composition it is a case of what you can’t see being equally important as what you can. I love to set it out so you can play out the film in your way, to become your favourite character and decide what is going on or about to.
The great element with preparing for the piece is the research, to sit down and watch the film, albeit stop start to allow for pages of notes. This is how you stumble across random little details that crop up that you never knew about, this combined with online research and fan pages it really magics up some cracking details that I then set about trying to integrate into my image. So, for those who may be wondering if I’ve been sinking a few too many ‘Blue Moon’s recently, well yes but the two-headed chicken and eight-legged pig are a thing apparently! Who knew?! Without doubt one of the most random tasks creating those in the studio as there’s not many points of reference floating about!
I am so pleased with how ‘Summer Lovin’ has turned out, I’ve not seen an interpretation like it, and I hope I have done it justice and that it makes you feel great. The seed is well and truly planted in my head for a sequel to this sometime in the future! So, I will leave you to search for the details and scrawled messages, oh and who would have thought that Eugene was hung like a freakin’ horse!