This is Klimt's The Kiss. It features in the novel Evernight quite prominently. When I looked it up out of curiousity, I knew nothing about the painting - except that I love it. This painting is about romance, love. The generous use of gold paint shows us that this is the most precious, most treasured element of the image. The vines, and lush green of the flowers remind us that this is natural. The designs of the man and woman's respective garments are complex and different to one another, but put together, the combine beautifully. The gold sparks around the couple show that their luminousity has rubbed off on their surroundings. This is an oil painting - it would have taken time, love, to finish. This painting, to me, sends an umcomplicated message, unlike The Scream. Look closer.
This is the famous scene in American Beauty where Lester Burnham's wife, Carolyn, has discovered that he has purchased his dream car, a 1970 Pontiac Firebird. Lester responds with mock enthusiasm, real sarcasm, "I RULE." This film, in my eyes a piece of art in itself, continually urges us to look closer. At the apparent happiness of others, when under the surface lurks deep dissatisfaction with their lives, themselves. At the complacement of yourself, which, if you made some changes, you could dispel. At what is, instead of what appears to be. Consider Angela, blonde siren, whose apparent promiscuity hides a shattered sense of self-respect. Consider Janey, whose initial reaction to her "creepy" neighbour hid a developing sense of longing - shown when Ricky, looking closer than most, zoomed his camera in on her mirror to reveal her reflection smiling to herself. Lester, who looked the closest, and inverted himself, so that upon the film's dramatic closure, he was happy. Consider Colonel Fitts, at whom nobody looked closer, who suffered grievously because of it. If you look closer, what do you see in yourself, in those around you?
Do you see the gold happiness of The Kiss? Or do you see the frustration, the pain of The Scream? Because here's the thing. You don't really have to look closer - you can tell at first glance.
I'm trying to find a print of the Klimt painting for my room. Does anyone know where to find it?
I'm sure the majority of this post will turn out to be rambling and senseless analysis in the end. But thinking of things in this way helped me to clear up my thoughts.
If you haven't watched American Beauty, do. It's my all-time favourite movie, it's fantastic. You'll love it.
Thanks for bothering to read such a long-winded post.