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Tim's Vermeer (2013), A Documentary About Tim Jenison's Quest To Replicate Johannes Vermeer's Paintings - Directed by Teller


zoramargolis
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A bit late for local theaters--today was the last day in the last DC area theater, in Fairfax. but this film is bound to come up on Netflix, On Demand etc. and is really worth watching. A brilliant design and video technology geek develops an obsession with figuring out and recreating how Johannes Vermeer was able to paint photo-realistic paintings in the 17th century. Amazing, gripping, and entertaining.

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Penn and Teller were on NPR a couple of months ago talking about this flick. It sounded really interesting. Definitely worth taking a look at when it shows up on netflix.

I was intrigued with this theory every since I heard about it, but I didn't even realize they made a movie about it. It's certainly possible - does anyone remember the Vermeer exhibit at the NGA, maybe 25 years ago? I remember it as being the first-ever "Superstar Exhibit" in DC - one that you had to fight to get tickets for, and I remember going there and feeling as if I had an artistic awakening. I know there are only about a dozen surviving da Vincis (and we have the only one in the Western hemisphere right here in DC, yes we do!), but was he also not possibly a similar "mathematical-type" painter, using little tricks to help him get the lighting right, etc.?

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Mark Stutsman of Eloqui based in Garrett County is a modern extremely talented "realism" painter.  He drew the Elvis Stamp which was the first stamp commissioned by the post office that included a competition among artists.

I knew him and his wife Laura at that time.  Such wonderful and nice people.  And of course talented.   Per Laura, he did that picture very quickly, as he was capable of doing.  It was and is a talent.  Both, artists had met in art school, and Mark's talent was very unique, per Laura.  But it was a talent, rare, unique, the ability to create photo quality paintings and drawings.

They are evidently still busy, still producing.  More power to them.

From Laura's description, that type of talent, is extraordinarily rare among artists.

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does anyone remember the Vermeer exhibit at the NGA, maybe 25 years ago? I remember it as being the first-ever "Superstar Exhibit" in DC - one that you had to fight to get tickets for,

Winter of 1995-1996.  I wouldn't call it the first - I remember the fuss over The Treasures of Tutankhamun (1976-1977) and Japan - the Shaping of Daimyo Culture (1988-1989).  But yes, it was important.  It was an excellent exhibit except for one thing: the crowds.  It was almost impossible to get close to the art.

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But it was a talent, rare, unique, the ability to create photo quality paintings and drawings.

They are evidently still busy, still producing.  More power to them.

From Laura's description, that type of talent, is extraordinarily rare among artists.

One of the amazing things about Tim Jenison is that he has no training or "talent" as a painter. He is a graphic designer, so obviously has an eye for composition and a keen sense of color and form, but completely on his own he painted a remarkably exact copy of a Vermeer painting by rediscovering and utilizing the technology of lenses and mirrors that he speculates, with considerable support from experts, was utilized by Vermeer.

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Tim's Vermeer is still playing at the Cinema Arts theater in Fairfax.

They must have decided to extend -- we saw it there last Tuesday and were told that Thursday would be the last showings. When we saw it, there were two showings a day, at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. On a weekday, needless to say the audience for the afternoon screening skewed "retired." If it is still there, it is definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

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One of the amazing things about Tim Jenison is that he has no training or "talent" as a painter. He is a graphic designer, so obviously has an eye for composition and a keen sense of color and form, but completely on his own he painted a remarkably exact copy of a Vermeer painting by rediscovering and utilizing the technology of lenses and mirrors that he speculates, with considerable support from experts, was utilized by Vermeer.

I didn't mean to negate the premise or the idea of the film.  I merely wanted to point out that the ability to paint and draw extraordinarily life like, photographic like art is extremely rare among artists themselves.

Mark Stutsman, referenced above is evidently one of those people.  In '93 his drawing of a young Elvis was one of two illustrations that were part of the first competition for a stamp in which a vote resulted in his being picked.

It turned out to be a tremendous boost for his career.  At some point after the competition, after he got to go to Graceland and met Priscilla Presley, he was honored in DC by possibly the local illustrators club, or an advertising organization or something like that.

Mark and Laura visited my ex and I.  They were terrific people, very nice and very intimate with my ex.  We attended the local event with them.  What I repeatedly heard from quite a few local artists was how Mark's talent was very unique.

He was both very talented and the ability to draw in a life-like photographic manner was extremely unique among artists.  Very rare.

I'm merely pointing out that an ability to draw in a photographic manner is evidently extraordinarily unique even among talented artists.

Tim Jenison's experiment and effort are very interesting and the trailer was excellent.  I'm merely suggesting that a unique raw and rare talent might also have been responsible for Vemeer's works.

Who knows?

Meanwhile thinking back about local artists was nostalgic for me.  My ex worked with and was very friendly with local artists.  One weekend I went away for a men's retreat.  The last thing we did was a drawing connected to a "therapeutic goal".  I was pretty psyched by my "effort".    When I got home my wife was out, but lo and behold one of her best friends was at the house, a pretty well known active commercial artist.  She was watching TV and I'm almost sure it was a Star Trek episode, Next Generation.

When I saw her there I presented the drawing of which I was very proud.  Annie took a look at it and dryly said:   "Keep your day job!"    Ha ha.  No truer words were ever said.

I don't mean to dispute the film or its concept at all, but simply want to reference how evidently rare the ability to draw with skill in a photographic like style is among artists.

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