The style of surrealism has displayed itself in various mediums of art. It has enchanted readers through Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Nobel Prize-winning novel and captivated viewers through Salvador Dali’s outlandish paintings. The usage of surrealism remains prevalent in modern art, literature and cinema. Its prominence will continue to be demonstrated in an ongoing exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts entitled “David Lynch: The Unified Field.” Lynch attended the Academy in the late 1960s, where he created his first film, “Six Men Getting Sick.”
The film lasts merely a minute and plays on a constant loop; it is comprised of distorted, eerie animations that come together to create an experimental combination of sound, sculpture and cinematography. At PAFA’s exhibition, the film will be restaged in a live production. Aside from the first film Lynch created, the exhibit features 90 drawings and paintings that encompass almost 50 years of Lynch’s artistic career. This is Lynch’s first exhibition within the United States.
This exhibition at PAFA not only represents an accomplished alumnus, but marks the starting point in Lynch’s career. Lynch has continued to work in film long after his years at the Academy. After living in Philadelphia, Lynch moved his family to Los Angeles, where he would study filmmaking at the American Film Institute Conservatory. Together with Mark Frost, he helped to create and nurture, “Twin Peaks,” the famous television series that would receive 18 Emmy nominations, and a global level of recognition from audiences. Lynch has reportedly identified Philadelphia as influential to his inspiration, as he has stated: “the biggest influence in my whole life was that city.”