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While Paramount’s marketing team works to assure conservative Christians that Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah is a blockbuster that respects their faith even as it departs from the Bible in imagining the story of the Great Flood, the director seems to be shoring up support in other quarters. With a gallery show set to open three weeks before the film in New York City, he’s using an array of artists to make the story relevant to a crowd who may not have read it lately.
“Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood” will run March 7-29 in a pop-up art space at 462 West Broadway. The director himself chose 50 artists, asking many to do new work specifically for the exhibition. “I decided to ask a few of them to return to Genesis,” he said in a press release, noting that the results range from painting to photography to music.
Given the narrative nature of the subject, it’s perhaps not surprising how many of Aronofsky’s artists come from the comics field; even so, the variety of those cartoonists is noteworthy — ranging from the psychedelic art-comix star Jim Woodring and the politically-oriented Peter Kuper to mainstream superhero auteurs including the oft-maligned Rob Liefeld.
At the other end are artists who straddle the street- and contemporary art scenes like Chris Johanson and the Brooklyn collective FAILE. Photographer Nan Goldin, whose work in the ’80s depicted the kind of hedonistic scene Noah’s purifying God tried to wash off the face of the planet, will contribute, as will the mixed-media artists Mike and Doug Starn, whose collaged photos often look like they’ve spent some time underwater. Perhaps the most obvious choice is the inclusion of a piece by the late Reverend Howard Finster, the folk artist whose Bible-conscious paintings were used on LPs by Talking Heads and R.E.M.
This isn’t the first time Aronofsky has tied his big-screen work to the gallery world: 2011’s “Black Swan: The Exhibition,” which included work by such blue-chip artists as Richard Prince and Anish Kapoor, was curated by Dominic Teja Sidhu, Aronofsky’s collaborator on “Fountains of the Deep.”
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