Thursday, January 03, 2013
Jessica Chastain, Pre-Raphaelite Ophelia
Is the red-speckled beauty of Jessica Chastain tied inexorably to the 'modern' pre-Raphaelite art of J.W. Waterhouse? While he painted most of his works in the early part of last century, a while before Chastain was born --we assume, she keeps her age top secret -- is there a more cosmically unusual reason for that than usual?
Maybe it's a happy coincidence and not a case of time travel or immortality? It took awhile for me to place the aching feeling in my heart when I saw her in TREE OF LIFE -- it helped I was going through some serious stuff while viewing it (as I've written) but I could see the cells of sunlight coming off of her face and pale arms in some of the close-ups, see the auric stamp of her DNA's designer, feel her timeless maternal pull - luring me across the expanse of a solid century or so like Pinocchio on a slowly retracting umbilical puppet string.
Is it just a happy coincidence? I'm looking forward to ZERO DARK THIRTY to find out. I notice JC's in about 400 films this year and yet also finds time for a Broadway play. How does she keep so busy and yet look so good? Maybe it's her ability to transcend space and time. Sure, I know Waterhouse supposedly used his half-sister Mary as a model for many of these, but how can we be really sure? The few photos we have of Mary are fuzzy and at a bad angle or as a much older woman. I'm guessing Mary may have been Waterhouse's approximate model, but as a painter myself I know the girl I'm most thinking about while painting ---the who has come to represent my inner female spirit or anima in that instance, as she does as the mood suits her-- usually appears in the face of whomever I'm supposed to be painting. So perhaps Waterhouse could sense Chastain's unborn beauty somewhere deep inside him and his anima took it on as a new coat, and as a result his beauties are a cross between sister Mary and etheric anima Jessica? I believe these things are, if not real, then true. If not true, then more 'real' than truth, for in the world of true artistic expression, time and space and dreams and palette all merge together as one force impossible to measure with anything like clocks, or calendars, or miles or inches. Only the finished work, as it accumulates and is dropped into the museums and Facebook pages of time. She's a vegan. She's a warrior. She's over 100 years old!