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Bespoke Sketches

During lockdown I began filming short sketches centred on a single artwork. I used a green screen to create a whole new world that might appeal to people who perhaps weren’t even particularly interested in art.

The Challenge

Having enjoyed several such sketches, I was asked by author and artist Lilianne Milgrom to write something that would help promote her new novel about French artist Gustave Courbet’s provocative painting The Origin of the World.

I was requested to find an engaging way to convey how the novel laid bare the mystery and controversy that had surrounded this painting whilst highlighting how and why viewers might already be familiar with the work. The painting depicts a realistic depiction of female genitalia therefore I also had to ensure that my work was neither offensive nor censored.

The Solution

I decided to frame the sketch as a news bulletin. In this way I avoided breaching social media’s indecency rules but was able to communicate the sensationalism of the work and talk about events surrounding it that had, historically, been news stories. As part of the item I spoke about the painting’s mysterious past and built the narrative to demonstrate how enlightening as well as entertaining viewers would find Lilianne’s novel. I was also able to introduce an exclusive book offer and advertise an upcoming interview with Lilianne without breaking character.

The End Result: ‘News Flash’

Previous Sketches

Here are a couple of the sketches that led Lilianne to contact me; each sketch that I produced was very different in character but I linked them together under the umbrella title Curated Canapés and Cocktails to embrace the idea that they were bite-sized and fun. Other examples can be found on the Free Art Videos page here.




Camp David