ARTICLE WILLIAM DEFEBAUGH

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BACKSTAGE: CHANEL F/W '14

FIRST LOOK: LOUIS VUITTON F/W '14

FOUNTAINS OF THE DEEP

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Photography BFANYC.com courtesy of Paramount.

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FOUNTAINS OF THE DEEP

TEXT WILLIAM DEFEBAUGH

FAMED DIRECTOR DARREN ARONOFSKY CELEBRATES HIS UPCOMING FILM NOAH WITH A NEW EXHIBIT EXPLORING 50 DIFFERENT ARTISTS’ INTERPRETATIONS OF ONE OF THE OLDEST STORIES EVER TOLD

Everyone knows the story of Noah: mankind becomes too evil, God destroys the world save one man, his family, and two of every other species on Earth. It is a story that has been told and retold over thousands of years—which is exactly why director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler) wanted to be the first to bring it to the big screen.

In advance of the March 28th release of Noah (starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson), Aronofsky generated excitement last night with the opening of “Fountains of the Deep,” an exhibit for which he invited 50 artists to interpret the story of Noah and present it in a visual form.

“When you look at the original text of genesis, you realize that the religious art of the last few thousand years is a very loose interpretation of the text,” says Aronofsky. “I was always curious why. Were they just not looking at the text? So I wanted to reach out to 21st century artists to see what they would come up with. I told them to ignore my movie, to ignore paparazzi shots of Noah, go back to the original text and see what they could come up with, and it just shows all the imagination that the original text can inspire.”

The variety of the works—some paintings, some sculptures— contrasted with the similarities in subject matter, clearly illustrate Aronofsky’s point. Jim Lee did a graphic pen and ink illustration of Noah contemplating the end of the world, whereas James Jean painted him as a giant, mutilated figure bleeding into the ocean. Nan Goldin offered a photograph of boars running through the wilderness; Karen Kilimnik did a print of figurine animals photographed against a backdrop of the Taj Mahal. And of course there were those works on the ark itself: Yariv Milchan’s singular lifeboat sitting in the midst of a large storm, a bamboo sculpture of a ship by Mark & Doug Starn.

About the artists themselves, Aronofsky says, “They were all artists that I love. I went to them and asked them to take a look and see if they would be excited to create something based on this text. The artists all own the work themselves, it’s all being loaned, but it was just a way of bringing all of these people and ideas about this story together.”

Zosia Marmet, Parker Posey, David Blaine, and Lucy Liu were among the celebrity guests who came to see the works in anticipation for the director’s upcoming film, which according to Aronofsky, is a lifelong dream come to fruition.

“Since I was a young kid I was fascinated with the story and I think it just stuck with me. It’s not a nursery rhyme story; it’s a lot more complicated than that. The first mentions of wine are in it, the wickedness of man—it has a lot of intensity to it. So we started digging and exploring and really loved what we found. Our aim was just to be truthful to the source material—to be in the moment and just focus on the beauty in this story.”

"Fountains of the Deep" will be open to the public March 7th to March 29th, Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 8pm at 462 West Broadway, New York, NY

EXTRA CREDITS

Photography BFANYC.com courtesy of Paramount.

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