The impending release of the Where the Wild Things Are movie has got me worrying. You see I was a lover of literature from a very young age and when I reflect back upon this period of my life there is but one title that really stands out for me. What I am talking about is Maurice Sendak’s masterpiece “Where The Wild Things Are.”
Now I was reading this book before I could even read, which may be suggestive of the fact that it were the pictures rather than literary content that I was really into at the time, but thats not what is important here. I can’t remember a single thing about the story line anyway apart from the fact that the main protagonists are a boy called Max and a Gruffalo. The illustrations on the other hand, have always retained a presence, lingering somewhere mysterious in the back of my mind. Pictures to a child can be powerful things.
Maurice Sendak is to illustration precisley what Dali/ Rousseau would have been to modern art had they have been one artist. A pioneer of surrealist worlds, his palette of eerie twilight colours and mischievous monsters lure readers to play in their nightmarish jungles . These were the lands that I visited whilst falling asleep and they captivated me. They showed me what I wanted to see and took me to where I wanted to be, which was running wild in a jungle with monsters who were quite scary upon first impressions, but were actually, so it turned out, really cool. Sendak’s were amongst the first drawings to stretch the boundaries of my imagination. They were fundamental to my imaginative development and essentially my whole being.
The thought of other people having imagined them out of the book and onto cinema screens across the world kind of annoys me because I think it might ruin what I have got going on here in my head. I suppose it’s just another case of Harry Potter syndrome really. Are these things that want to be messed with though, I ask??!
In respect of the fact that I do not like to consider myself as being an unreasonable person I shall not condone the movie to bad criticism before I have even seen it or have met anyone who has seen it. I am in fact intrigued to see it but will approach cautiously.
As a tribute to Maurice Sendaks talent I have been working on my own “Where the Wild Things Are,” inspired painting. My monsters bare resemblance to myself and my flat mates (if you know us see if you can guess who is who.) Our hypothetical “Jungle,” where we ran like totally wild – is Shoredtich where we lived at the time I started the painting. Deep Stuff.
I like to call it Shoreditch Bad Guys. It’s not finished…yet