Godard's "Alphaville" in pen, ink, and watercolor

Sneak peek at a show opening at New York's Adam Baumgold Gallery on May 1 -- "Alphaville," by Scott Teplin, features meticulously rendered pen and ink and watercolor drawings inspired in part by Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 film (which happens to be my favorite movie, ever, period). Snip from the show description:

Teplin has filtered the city of Alphaville through his own imagination and drawn a world devoid of people - only evidence of their domestic and work environments remain for exploration.

Godard filmed Alphaville when computers were in their infancy and not well understood by the public. As a result the film is haunted by Alpha 60 - a dictatorial talking computer that rules the city and forbids the concept of free individuals. Teplin's recreated Alphaville takes place in the present, where computers are not much more than an occasional laptop on a table and a few rooms set up for surveillance of other rooms in secret. Humor is always a prevalent thread in Teplin's work and he has used Lemmy Caution's name as an inspiration for weirdly overgrown indoor potted lemon trees that seem to devour the very wall that contains them - in the title piece of the show. Also featured in the exhibition are individually, vividly watercolored pen and ink drawings of each of the 26 letters of the alphabet, whose surreal rooms and environments follow the deductive structure of the letters. Another set of drawings focus on words and letters such as SLUMBER LORD and GRACIOUS HOST that become Teplin's eccentric, isometrically spaced rooms.

The exhibition highlights Scott Teplin's artist book(s) "Sinker Down and Out," (2007) a Kafkaesque journey of a donut's travels through the digestive path. "Sinker Down and Out" is a hand-drawn 'editioned' artist book. The first part is simply an artist book, similar to other tightly engineered volumes Teplin has created in the past, including maddeningly detailed pen drawings accompanied with strategically placed, scalpel-incised holes. Because artist books are notoriously difficult to exhibit, the second part of this project was born. It consists of one fully-bound book, identical to the original master copy, for each of the 21 page spreads in that master.

Link to gallery website, and here is the artist's site (thanks, Coop!).


  1. Pixies and Alphaville references in one day. w000t sez w00t!

    Also, if you like Alphaville, check out Le Samourai if you haven’t yet – different subject matter but similar mood/vibe/look and awesome to boot.

  2. Dont mean to sound like im hating, but as fan of Alphaville and a fellow artist, I honestly dont see why or how this has anything to do with Godard or the film. Outside of that, as a piece of simple graphic art, it isnt impressive at all.
    I have nephews who can draw and color better than that.

  3. and I have nephews who are better than you in every way imaginable. But I am too well bred to say it.

  4. Arent you like 90 years old Takuan? That would make your nephews somewhere in their mid 40’s maybe? Id hope they’re better than me with a 20 something year head-start. Anyways, glad to see you discovered the internet in your retirement home.

  5. Ocupe…


    I love that film, that is one of my favorites too!!

    Like a pretty little sphinx…

  6. I’m not insulting the quality of the picture, but I don’t get the Alphaville connection either — Alphaville (in the movie) was basically just 1960s Paris — the point in treating it as a futuristic “1984”-like society was to show just how freaky it was.

    I’m not seeing any of this in the drawings.

  7. I loved Alphaville as well. I agree with the previous posters about the look and feel of the movie compared to the art work here. You just had to believe there was a zone for time travel and a supercomputer running the show. There was no attempt to make anything look futuristic.
    That said, criticizing art posted on a blog is like executing swimmers doing laps in an indoor pool.

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