SBMA Exhibits "Art of Wordless Storytelling" by David Wiesner
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David Wiesner, illustrator and children’s books author, expresses his use of wordless storytelling through the vivid images all constructed from watercolor and india ink.
Inspired by renowned Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, and Michelangelo, and surrealist artists René Magritte, Giorgio de Chirico, and Salvador Dalí, the exhibit The Art of Wordless Storytelling displayed bizarre wallpaper from his childhood, books, rockets, elephant heads, clocks, and magnifying glasses, and his imaginative illustrations sparked to make the quirky, creative childrens books we’ve come to know.
Wiesner’s use of watercolor makes each piece intriguing and demands a double and triple take. Clear and concise in every single detail, the colors are lively and stand out off the pages. The exhibit also includes some scattered rough illustration sketches for viewing.
A few of the books Wiesner has published are also available in the back room of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art as well as an interactive section in the back where people can color select sketches from David Wiesner’s books.
At the Rhode Island School of Design, Wiesner enhanced his drawing skills and pursued his passion for wordless storytelling. Over twenty of his works and stories won awards, including Tuesday (1991), The Three Pigs (2001), and Flotsam (2006), which went on to receive the Caldecott Medal.
At the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, a few original prints from Wiesner’s books Fish Girl (2016), Mr. Wuffles (2013), Art & Max (2010), Hurricane (1990), June 29, 1999 (1992), Free Fall (1988), Tuesday (1991), Sector 7 (1999), The Three Pigs (2001), and Flotsam (2006).
June 29, 1999 follows the story of a science project gone wrong. A young girl puts together a science project by throwing seeds into space. Eventually, gigantic vegetables start falling from the sky.
In Tuesday, large frogs cruise around a town’s sky around a dusk sky on their lily pads as the people below watch them. The frogs’ emotions are captured exceedingly as their expressions change to disappointment when they come back to the ground.
The little boy from Sector 7 befriends a gathering of cloud people while exploring the Empire State Building that introduce him to a steampunk factory in the sky. There at the factory, the boy learns to make cloud formation shapes like fish and octopi.
The Three Pigs retells the classic nursery rhyme of three little pigs dealing with the big bad wolf. However, Wiesner also includes a dragon, making the characters pop off the page in a fascinating way.
Flotsam is the old time story of a little boy throwing a camera in the water to capture aquatic life. As the camera goes through the ocean, it captures actual aquatic life of the sea creatures imitating human civilization from city life to reading books.
Mr. Wuffles follows the story of the cat Mr. Wuffles getting a new toy. Inside the toy is a group of aliens who eventually start to plot against the cat to save their ship that was mistaken for a toy.
Wiesner also created a cover for the 2012 Children’s Book Week. The poster covers lots of iconic children’s book characters such as the three little pigs, Goldilocks and the three bears, Dr. Seuss’s Thing 1 and Thing 2, and Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
This walk down childhood memory lane will remain open until the May 14th.