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“After Darren screened The Whale for me last year and asked me to create its poster, I immediately thought of Lucien Freud’s paintings of Leigh Bowery, and Kiki Smith’s self portrait, My Blue Lake. In the latter, Smith used a special camera to capture the periphery of her torso, resulting in an image that reads like a topographical map of her skin. While drawing Charlie (Brendan Fraser), I tried to channel Freud’s intimate yet unforgiving observations of Bowery. The depth of Charlie’s grief in the film is manifest in the expansive landscape of his body, barely able to contain all the feeling within. The skin is but a thin boundary between the external and internal worlds. In my drawing, his pain is full bleed and stretches beyond the margins, but his humanity and optimism breach the surface in the peaks and valleys of his face. A subtle texture of crumpled paper is embedded in the portrait, referencing the essay Charlie clutches in his hands throughout the film, an artifact from his daughter’s childhood that he cherishes for years and keeps him anchored away from the brink.” - Jean


Edition Details


Edition of 314

33 1/2 × 22 3/4 in | 85.1 × 57.8 cm

Giclee on 310 g/m² 100% cotton-rag paper



Signed by James Jean and Darren Aronofsky,

and numbered in pencil

[ED314] "The Whale" - James Jean