This is a piece that just makes you laugh when you stand back and look at what you’ve created. It is just so bloody cool, it had to be! The Godfather is so incredibly powerful, visually, and conceptually so you can so easily miss the mark with it. I had previously created a ‘Corleone’ piece that was his side profile made from smoke which is one to seek out if you aren’t familiar with it. However, the past couple of ‘Lost in Hollywood’ collections have featured iconic gangster pieces so the time was right to create an intense scene piece for my collectors.
The end result is so different to what I thought it would be, originally it was going to be a gritty street scene where the Don was shot whilst shopping for oranges. Then it was going to be the toll booth scene but from watching the movie again with a fresh pair of eyes it was the intensity of his office that struck a chord with me and fuelled my imagination. Everything revolved around the office, where deals were made, vendettas planned and how you then see the actions come from it. It is such a dark room yet so rich is detail, warmth, and innocence.
The office was built completely from scratch and that alone makes it an incredibly cool and rich image and didn’t need the central character, yet when he was introduced, it took the piece to a completely different level. The power that resonates from him is insane! I’ve not tried to put a different narrative to this piece out of respect for the movie but instead I wanted to really test myself technically, after all that is what it is about as an artist - the want to improve and grow.
There are details within the scene that didn’t need to go in but that I wanted to do something that was incredibly challenging. Look at the fish tank! In the movie it is tiny and subtle yet hearing the line ‘sleep with the fishes’ and how sinister that is, gave me a thought of giving it much more presence. From that you see the semi-transparent view through to where the Don is sitting, it all turned out so well and gives me that ‘puff your bloody chest out’ feeling.
Other subtle details that may be random, but the technical aspect is right up there. For example, the blood orange that is literally spilling blood or Don Corleone’s face merged into the markings on the ill-fated horse’s head. There is so much in there to spot, it is a pure celebration of an incredible movie. It is so dark, so bloody toxic yet coupled with this beautiful lighting that radiates inwards through the iconic shutters.
A detail that appealed was how he was being betrayed from within and this is depicted by the desk that smoulders and the thorns that twist through the floor and the wood. I love how oranges symbolise imminent death and I have amplified that through the orange tree that has grown through the foundations as the wolves start to circle. There is so much in this piece that the die-hard fans of the movie will love seeking out and interpreting and I hope I have made you a piece that you can’t refuse! Take the piece, leave the Cannoli!