Geoff McFetridge’s “doodle” title sequence for Sofia Coppola’s breakthrough film The Virgin Suicides may have been the ultimate visual signature of 1999. For our most recent issue, CR asked the artist to revisit that style as elements that appear throughout the magazine. Here, we asked the Canadian-born and trained polymath how the flashback felt.
The doodles for Virgin Suicides look like they were done by high school girls. How did you come up with that?
I used to entertain my school friends because I could “draw like a girl.” I’d say, “Hey, ‘I’ll sign your yearbook like a girl.”
Those titles started the movie with this eerie innocence.
Yeah. Something in [the way] girls drew really fascinated me. There’d be these doodles of, like, caterpillars and fantasy animals, but then they’d also draw scary stuff. I think it worked for the film because it weaves naïve romanticism with a fascination with death.
What was it like to return to that style for CR Fashion Book Issue 11?
I had to get back into this feeling of emotional girls brooding, mixing menace with the head-banger/born-to-lose mentality.
You’ve been called a “visual auteur” for your no-boundaries work, moving from poetry to animation, graphics to 3D work, textile and wallpaper to paintings. How do these doodles fit in that?
I have always used handwriting as a design tool. It’s the anti-font. There’s authorship, the fact that somebody clearly made this. My work is still actually based on fairly low-tech processes.
Like the spirit of 1999?
I had a skateboard company at the time. Sofia had a clothing line called Milkfed. It was a moment in L.A. history of cultural production, wrapped up in indie rock culture.
What about now? You’ve just had a big opening of paintings (A Test For Positive Thinking) at Rental Gallery.
This new work is quiet. The rigor is emotional content. When we feel something, we get quiet.
Spike [Jonze] asked me to work on this “wordless play” he’s producing for Opening Ceremony. I’m going to sit there and draw it while it happens.
That sounds almost like a 1999 performance art thing.
Well, yeah, I guess. In the ’90s it was about making jokes or something. It’s like a gag but it’s not funny, it’s a dark gag. Like all great comedy.
Maybe that’s it, Geoff—1999 was like a dark gag we’re still figuring out. Thanks for taking us back there.END
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createdAt:Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:26:17 +0000