Saturday, November 21, 2009

'Rousseau's Transmission' by Dan McCarthy

My third purchase from the DCAAPB poster series is 'Rousseau's Transmission' by Dan McCarthy.
On seeing it for the first time I was immediately struck by the wonderful sense of scale, with the rolling mountains of The Island stretching skyward far above a small group of dazed and confused survivors of Oceanic 815. I also liked the muted beige colour scheme as displayed on the DCAAPB site, which I found visually appealing and which complemented the colours in my living room. Perhaps, thought I slyly, I would be able to sneak this one onto a living room wall without undue objection from the non-Losties in the family! Other first impressions included admiration for the accurate renderings of the perplexed survivors, and an overall feeling that this was one of the most beautiful works of art the series had produced to date. My only negative reaction was a slight distaste for the speech bubble near the bottom of the print which announces a portion of Rousseau's recorded message -- to my mind it just seemed a bit out-of-place.

A few days after the reveal, the first photos of the print started appearing on the Web. I was surprised and slightly disappointed at what I saw. Instead of the lovely muted browns and cappuccinos I had seen on the website, instead I was greeted with greens, greys, and dark yellows. So much for the living room!

Though the colours were not what I had hoped, as I waited for my print to arrive I thought of other aspects of the art that I found particularly appealing. I like the multiple layers of mountains, each rising higher than the last. They remind me of the many layers of mystery and discovery which Lost has presented over its first five seasons. First a simple island, deserted save for a mysterious, unseen "monster". Then a group of Others who also inhabit the island. Then a revelation that the Dharma Initiative arrived at the island many years before, building stations and performing experiments. Later we learn of Charles Widmore, who came to the island in the 1950s but was later banished. Finally we learn of Jacob and his nemesis, the man in black; perhaps they hold the secret of the island's origin.

I also appreciate this print because it includes (albeit as small silhouettes) Shannon, Boone, Sayid, and Charlie; my feeling at the time (which holds true as I write, with only 2 print reveals remaining) was that these characters may not appear again on another print. (Though I was, and am, hoping that Charlie will be featured in "Charlie's Sacrifice". Fingers crossed for print #15.) Also, at 18x30", this is the only "oversized" poster thus far. The extra 6 inches of height certainly enhances the vertiginous effect. Finally, my logical mind noted that this print, which depicts a scene at the very end of the Lost pilot, serves as a wonderful book-end for 'The Crash', an earlier poster which covers a scene at the beginning of the pilot. Symmetry is always appealing.

I kept the frames for my first two posters (Crash and Smokey) very simple -- cheap 18x24 "slide-on" poster frames from Michael's with no mat. To me, those two prints were full of rich colour and detail thus wouldn't be well-served by a fancy frame. Conversely, the simplicity and artistry of Rousseau's Transmisson demanded extra attention. That and the fact that 18x30 frames don't actually seem to exist led me to embark on a quest for a framing solution. I spent several days searching for an answer which would serve the print but not break the bank. I ended up purchasing an on-sale framed print from HomeSense and a custom mat from Michael's, along with a backing board and some acid-free tape. After learning much more than I ever thought I would know about adhesives and matting techniques I set to work one night putting it all together. I'm fairly happy with the result. To the best of my knowledge I only made one major blunder and was able to come up with a workaround that mostly covered up the mistake. Here is the final result:

Once again I had a very early order number but ended up with a highish print number, this time #176. I haven't quite figured out why this always seems to happen to me; perhaps it is related to the sequence in which the prints are readied for shipping? Maybe US orders are grouped first? Don't know for certain. For my fourth poster purchase I have a fairly high order number -- maybe I'll end up with a low print number for that one! I can only hope. Tyson, are you listening?

Finally a few close-ups from this lovely print.

Rousseau's Transmission made me work a little harder than the previous posters I've purchased from DCAAPB. Hopefully I have provided the presentation it deserves.