By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
"Anything that you make, you have to leave your ego out of it, because the director may say, 'Oh, yeah, we decided the backstory was that it was in a fire,' " Wright says.
Because Wright and Perlin both worked on set in production before discovering this niche, the two are less sensitive about separating the business and the muse.
"I've never been driven — except for very short periods of time — to be that out-of-my-gut artist, unfortunately," Perlin says, "but I feel that I found my forte in copying. I can separate myself emotionally a little bit, because my brain works more analytically. Obviously I feel sometimes, most of the time, that [other artists] have more talent because it comes totally from within themselves."
Wright also downplayed any creative work he does for himself, including a series of triptychs involving bones, and insisted a few times that his noncommissioned paintings didn't "relate to anything."
Wilson, on the other hand, has always considered herself an artist first and a Hollywood craftsman second. "I liked to pretend it was OK, but it does take away from my own creative process, to be imitating," she says.
Wilson also says she would be upset if someone disrespected her as an artist by copying her style for a piece of set decoration, though she has no such qualms about borrowing. "I should feel a little bit bad about it, but I guess I just don't for some reason. I'm a hopeless, immoral person," she jokes. "I don't mind so much with Rothko because he was such a jerk ... [and] kind of a chauvinist."
If visual art starts a nonverbal conversation between artist and viewer, then how do we feel about art that says nothing about the psyche of the artist, that is not meant to call attention to itself, that blips by on-screen before taking up permanent residence in an anonymous warehouse or being torn up by attorneys as the production designer looks on forlornly?
"It's a little upsetting because you work so hard and then it's out the door, and at least three-quarters of the time you never hear anything again because [the art department is] too busy," Wilson says. "They put it up, they shoot the scene, they're moving on. And you're forgotten."