Philbrook’s “This is an Adventure: Accidentally Wes Anderson” exhibition displays photography with never-before-heard music.
Wes Anderson is one of the most famous and prolific filmmakers in Hollywood, nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, as well as two more for Best Animated Feature. He has won one Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture and another for Best Director, among other awards. Whether he is making live-action films like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014) or stop-motion movies such as his adaptation of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009), Anderson’s creativity and style stand out in the eccentric nature, unique visuals and original narratives of his works.
Anderson’s work has been able to inspire many others as well. In 2017, the Instagram account Accidentally Wes Anderson, created by Wally Koval, was made specifically to showcase photography of architecture, natural landscape and more inspired by this director’s films in terms of vibrant colors that are almost eccentric, symmetrical imagery, etc. Submissions have continued to be sent to Koval over the past few years, growing a whole community dedicated to creating a lasting tribute to a filmmaker and movies that they love dearly. Koval has received so many pictures by this group he founded that he was actually able to publish a book in Oct. 2020, titled “Accidentally Wes Anderson,” after the social media account that started it all. This book has been authorized by Anderson himself, and showcases over 200 of the photography submissions that Koval received from his community of over 1 million people, as well as telling the stories behind the pictures and the photographers who took them.
But the inspiration does not stop there. Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum has worked in collaboration with the Accidentally Wes Anderson community to put on an exhibition of the photography that the movement has shared, titled “This is an Adventure: Accidentally Wes Anderson.” The photos showcased in the exhibition are a mixture of photo submissions from Tulsa and Tulsa County that were hand-picked by Philbrook’s community inspired by Anderson’s work, as well as photos submitted to Koval.
But the exhibition goes further than just displaying photography. This exhibition collaborates with new wave band Devo’s keyboardist Mark Mothersbaugh, who has composed the soundtracks of many of Anderson’s films, to contribute a collection of never-before-heard compositions that were unused in final cuts of these movies, including outtakes and rough drafts, to create a unique and original soundtrack for this exhibition. This alone should be enough to peak one’s interest in checking out Philbrook’s latest collaborative project.
According to their website, the Philbrook describes that this exhibition allows viewers to “Find inspiration to explore the world, but also to take a closer look just where you are. With an open mind and broadened perspective, adventure awaits us all.” This is such an amazing opportunity for Tulsa to be involved in a larger community of artists around the world, all inspiring, each centered around a tribute to one of the best filmmakers of his generation. This is a wonderful way for Tulsa to support local artists trying to make a career out of their passions, and connect with others who are trying to do the same. The exhibition will remain open until Jan. 2, so there is plenty of time for you to drop by the museum and check out this display of a very unique artistic community.