• December 21, 2008
  • Posted by Marc

Wooster Essentials: The Motion Paintings of David Ellis and The Barnstormers

Back in 2002, Sara and I purchased a DVD from Japan that featured an incredible motion painting by David Ellis and the Barnstormers. The film was called Apostrophe and it absolutely blew us away. 

Much like what Blu did in MUTO, David’s animated films are created by first painting, then erasing, and then replacing the artwork while a stop-action camera captures each moment. Similar to an incredible jazz performance, the Barnstormer’s films were improvised and done completely collaboratively. 

While Apostrophe is not available on the web, many of The Barnstormers films (as well as those done by David Ellis alone) can indeed be found on Vimeo and Youtube.  For us, they’re about as good as it gets.
Here’s a few of our favorites:

First, if you haven’t seen “Baker’s”, the work David painted over eight days earlier this year, be sure to click here (as for some reason it’s on Youtube but not embeddable).

After you’ve done that, be sure to watch Scrounge a film of the Barnstomers (this time featuring Mike Houston, David Ellis, Che Jen, Sasu, Kiku, and Kami) that was produced during an artists’ residency in September 2005 at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu:

Then watch “Letter to the President” that was done in the winter of 2003.  The Barnstormers painting in this film include Sonia Rubinstein, West One, Shie One, Chuck Webster, Yuri Shimojo, David Ellis, Christian Mendoza, Kenji Hirata, Che Jen, Mike Ming, Doze Green, Michael Houston, Martin Mazzorra, Jose Parla, Rostarr, Alex Lebedev, Madsaki:

And finally, watch “Daily” a film David did in 2004 over the course of three weeks:

To learn more about what The Barnstormers were all about, watch this: