#FFFind: Girl with deer painting in Fifty Shades Darker/Freed
No detail goes unnoticed when it comes to the wonderful production design (Nelson Coates) and set decoration (Cal Loucks SDSA) of the Fifty Shades film series. We’ve received many questions here at Film and Furniture about furniture, accessories and paintings in Fifty Shades and lately we’ve had many enquiries about the unusual and captivating picture of a girl with a deer or fawn which appears on the film set of Ana’s (Dakota Johnson) Seattle Independent Press office in Fifty Shades Darker/Freed.
We’re pleased to announce to Fifty Shades fans that we’ve #FFFound the exact artwork. We talked to the artist – Seattle-based Anne Siems – about the thinking behind the piece and her approach to art.
Film and Furniture: What is the painting that appears in Ana’s SIP office and what can you tell us about it?
Anne Siems: The painting that appears in Ana’s SIP office of a girl with a fawn is called Little Buck. It is around 30×30” and is work I painted in 2009.
F&F: How did this painting come to be in Fifty Shades? We are aware the Emmy-nominated Production Designer Nelson Coates who is also president of the Art Directors Guild Awards, frequently works with fine artists and currently serves on the board of trustees of the Laguna College of Art and Design.
AS: The painting was actually in the Seattle Art Museum at the time of filming and was rented via the Rental and Sales Gallery of the Museum. I must admit I have no idea why it was picked from amongst many other works of other artists.
As I look back on many of my works I can see that the Shamanic idea of a Spirit Animal which I am very interested in now, was beginning to manifest itself. I don’t work very cerebrally, but instead let myself be guided by a more visceral approach. I prefer not to search out particular symbolism, but instead am guided by looking at art work and animal imagery. I was quite simply drawn at that time to paint fawns and deer.
F&F: Where can one buy your work?
AS: You can buy my work at any of the various galleries that represent my work which are listed at https://www.annesiems.com/contact
F&F: Is this piece or similar pieces for sale?
AS: This particular painting Little Buck which appeared in Fifty Shades sold for $7000. All my works are one of a kind, but I often work in series and repeat certain motives. I occasionally make commissioned art work. There are editioned prints available via Sebastian Foster.
F&F: Please tell us about your work in general and when and how you became an artist.
AS: In 1991, I moved from Berlin, Germany to Seattle after finishing my MFA at the Hochschule der Kunste Berlin.
While in Berlin I had a large studio and worked on a large-scale – room-filling drawings of semi-abstract organic shapes. In Seattle however, I had a small desk and a little bit of wall space. I started working on waxed found paper (mostly newsprint and paper bags) using pen, ink and acrylic paint. The imagery became more precise. Multiple delicate images overlapped in a sketch like manner, with usually one large central form dominating the final composition. In 1995, I felt complete with this body of work.
I wanted the imagery to have a more painterly quality. Botanical, organic imagery remained in my work along with an additional vocabulary of forms – birds, butterflies, garlands, draperies, small landscapes, faces and dresses. I worked first on a series of free floating wreaths, garlands and birds which eventually condensed and clustered to take on the shape of a dress or tunic. Later, three dimensional, transparent garments floated in front of a backdrop of birds, flowers and text. Eventually, faces attached themselves to these garments or floated freely, surrounded by flora and fauna.
In 2001, I started working on panels. This was without beeswax for the first time. Painting on a firm, smooth surface (which the waxed, stitched together paper didn’t provide) allowed for much more precision and detail. The photograph of a young friend started a year-long series of portraits. Mostly she is seated in front of a backdrop of dripping paint. Her garment is painted in the same watery, slightly translucent manner. Her face, hands and the objects she holds or that surround her (flowers, insects, etc.) are painted very precisely.
At present, my interest is with the human figure and the attributes that surround it. These attributes reflect something about the being without giving a specific narrative. Ideas about life and death, sensuality, sexuality, nature, experiences in the realm of dreams, psyche and spirit are my ongoing topic. A lot of inspiration for these pieces stem from my ongoing love for the art of the European Masters, Early American Folk Art, as well as vintage and modern photography.
More recently the work has included abstract shapes and large painterly brush patterns, the figures of women and children have evolved to more contemporary figures, expressing attitude, will and presence to life in these tumultuous times. A thread is still the expression of a deep belief that we are all connected and that our understanding that we are one with nature is key to our survival.
In my work I try to be as honest and true to myself as I can without losing discernment. I aim as best as I can for sincerity, intimacy and openness in my paintings. In them I find the beginning of something that touches the universal. It is a place where others can touch the magic and sensuality that gets exposed in the process.
I think deep inside of us lives a longing to experience a sense of ‘falling in love’. A visceral experience without words. For that to happen, this place needs to be free of irony, social commentary or conceptual humor. I am looking in my work to find the point in which we feel a certain ache – the ache caused by the knowledge that life is full of light and dark, sacred and profane, beauty and ugliness, life and death.
I have become deeply interested in Shamanism, as well as the concept of “rewilding” this is one way how I nurture my mind and body. It has made me more deeply aware of other dimensions and how my paintings come about.
We thanks Anne for sharing the thinking behind her work.
Interestingly enough, when researching the deer painting in Fifty Shades we also found this painting below called Portrait of a Girl Feeding a Deer by Thomas Gibson which was painted as far back as 1720 and which is listed for sale at Online Galleries.
This charming portrait of a girl of a wealthy family is depicted feeding a deer; the animal may have been a pet but is more likely to be symbolic. The auction listing goes on to say “In the Christian world, the deer is a symbol of piety, devotion and of God taking care of his children; in mythology the female deer symbolizes beauty, femininity, gentleness and grace… The blossoming rose to the left of the girl is a symbol of her youth, beauty and future fruitfulness.”
Perhaps consciously or subconsciously this painting was chosen to sit in Ana’s office as a symbol of her beauty and femininity.
Visit Anne Siems website >
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