The Art (Influences) of David Lynch

A passion from many perspectives.
David Lynch Shutterstock
By  · Published on July 6th, 2017

David Lynch has one passion – art – but many outlets for it: he makes films, obviously, short and long, but also he is a visual artist and a furniture designer, and indeed even the air about him seems charged with constant creativity. His is truly, as the name of a recent documentary about the man tells us, an art life.

As any student of art, Lynch’s work is laced with traces of other artists, especially his films. From Eraserhead right up to the most recent episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, eagle-eyed viewers have caught all sorts of visual parallels between Lynch’s frames and famous works of art. Speaking of that last Twin Peaks episode, there were at least four scenes directly influenced by the paintings of Edward Hopper, and it was this perversion of such homespun, idyllic images that in part made the episode so terrifying, so fascinating, and so effective.

In the following video from Menno Kooistra for VoorDeFilm, scenes from Lynch’s entire filmography have been set side-by-side with the works of art to which they allude. Seen like this, decades compressed into minutes, you get a sense of Lynch’s evolution as an artist, one who started more abstract and has become significantly more literal while still remaining in a off-kilter sphere all his own.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist