The Art of Poetry Film with Cheryl Gross: “Beer”

direction: Nerdo
poem: Charles Bukowski
art direction: Daniele Gavatorta
coordination: Diego Pizziconi
animation: Daniele Gavatorta, Simone Cirillo, Milena Tipaldo, Erik Righetti, and Alessandro Durando
original music and sound design: Enrico Ascoli
voiceover: David Wayne Callahan
recording engineer: Andrea Pestarino

I acquired a taste for beer many years ago while at an artist residency program in Saarbrücken, Germany. I attribute this phenomenon to my good friend and installation artist, Claudia Brieske. Upon meeting the poet Nicelle Davis, I was introduced to the world of video poetry. In my opinion the two go hand-in-hand. So it’s no wonder why Beer based on a poem by the famous Charles Bukowski caught my eye. I’m a big fan of Bukowski, so to find a video poem that embraces not one but two things I am passionate about is a rare treat. In simpler terms, it’s worth the price of admission.

That being said, my favorite place to start is always with the visuals. I love fast-paced, well-designed art. The animation is smooth and lyrical. It conveys a feeling of nostalgia in a postmodern sort of way, meaning the vector images are all computer-generated, but they contain images of objects such as a telephone that were a part of life back in the 20th century. All have either disappeared already or are about to disappear.

As far as the writing is concerned, I think most of us can relate. Break-ups with women, waiting for the phone to ring, just adds to the bloat of this self-imposed condition, hobby or should I say pastime of beer drinking. But when it comes down to it, life is just a matter of waiting for the next thing, waiting for something that will get us closer to the brass ring. In the meantime we have beer, the vehicle that will help ease the frustration and pass the time.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cheryl Gross (website, blog) is an illustrator, painter, writer, and motion graphic artist living and working in the New York/Jersey City area. She is a professor at Pratt Institute (where she received her MFA) and Bloomfield College.

Her work has appeared in numerous festivals and publications as well as gracing the walls of many galleries, corporate and museum collections.

“I equate my work with creating and building an environment, transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. I am involved in solving visual and verbal complexities such as design and narrative. My urban influence has indeed added an ‘edge’ to my work.”

Cheryl has often been compared to “Dr. Seuss on crack.”

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