Friday, 6 February 2009

Wim Wenders: Lounge Paintings

Wim Wenders, Lounge Painting # 1, Gila Bend, Arizona 
from "Pictures from the Surface of the Earth"

"It took me hours to find somebody
who could open up the lobby
of the old "Stout's" hotel on Main Street in Gila Bend.
It had been closed for years already.
That painting over the Coke machine haunts me ever since.
It's the dream version 
of the perfect beginning 
of a road movie."

As if Wim Wenders' movies weren't achingly beautiful enough, it turns out he takes great photographs too. The German director carries a panoramic camera around with him as he scouts for film locations and selected prints have been collected together in Pictures from the Surface of the Earth.
     There's everything from Buddhist temples to Havana cadillacs, but he really comes to life in the US. If you've seen Paris, Texas, you'll know Wenders has a keen eye for recreating a sort of lost, mythic Americana. The photographs he took across the Southern states zoom in on individual aspects of this, picking out vintage drinks machines and deserted shop fronts like some 35mm Edward Hopper. Ok, it's not strictly mid-20th century, but it sure as hell looks like it.
     Turns out the week I picked up this book, he opens a photography exhibition at Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Once - Still Images of Moving Pictures opens tomorrow and runs until 13 April, featuring his film location shots from around the globe. 

Wim Wenders, Used Book Store In Butte, Montana


  1. Oh, this is out of this world, never knew Wim W. did photos too... am starting to understand some of your inspirations... the Gila Lounge is unreal ! We need to find you more readers ! A post like this should have, like, a hundred comments on it, not just little old me three months late !

  2. "...picking out vintage drinks machines and deserted shop fronts like some 35mm Edward Hopper."

    Or William Eggleston for that matter :)