In this delicate and intricate portrait of a graceful woman, Murat Pulat depicts Anna Karina, a Danishborn French actress, model, director and screenwriter born in 1940 and known to be the muse of the French director Jean-Luc Godard. Murat Pulat's inspiration as a painter comes from the history of cinema and particularly the films of Godard, one of the pioneers of the French New Wave, a trend that became popular in the 1950s and 1960s by reacting to the traditional expressions in cinema. Although never a formalised movement, the New Wave filmmakers joined forces in experimenting new film forms; they engaged, through their art, with the social and political upheavals of their era and often reflected on the absurdity of human existence with irony and sarcasm. Murat Pulat, in turn, rethinks the ideas of the French New Wave and expresses his own beliefs on the surface of the canvas.
The present painting portrays Anna Karina and the image is derived from a black-and-white still of the actress from a popular scene in which she cries, in the 1962 film Vivre sa Vie (My Life to Live) directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Anna Karina, as Nana, stars as a beautiful Parisian in her early twenties who deliberately choses her career as an actress over her family and personal life, but fails at finding her way towards success and fame. The repetition of the woman's face in the painting suggests the primary techniques of motion in cinema and accentuates the feeling of melancholia conveyed by the female figure's facial expression.
The viewer finds himself hypnotised by the repetition of the image and the glamour of its subject; this is only enhanced by Pulat's own interpretation of pointillism coupled with a photorealistic technique that have become the artist's signature style. The play between what is seen and what is suggested, what is real and what is a mere reflection of reality, makes Pulat's painting even more captivating.
When the artist adds thick strokes of colour to the carefully selected black-and-white movie scene, he uses delicate hues of blue, red and grey that immediately add spark to the still image. The thick paint strokes become a painterly pixel, as if to reference the evolution of cinema and the contemporary methods of expression. The cumulation of a myriad of shades and colours is reminiscent of the television test cards of the 1960s, in which a set of coloured bars on television screens intended to assist the viewer in the calibration of their television set.
Inspired by the history of cinema and particularly by the French New Wave's avant-garde ideas and forms of expression, Murat Pulat reinterprets its visual language, that of fragmented and discontinuous scenes, applies its narrative to his striking paintings and alike Godard in his acclaimed films, Pulat choses to express his thoughts and reveal his own vision of the world on the surface of the canvas.