Canvas: An Internal Battle of Art and Integrity



Canvas directed by Junior Mckarthy Grimes won an award at the New York Alliance Film Festival. She pictured a plethora of shots from around the Masters Campus.

Chanel Neal, Contributing Writer

Canvas, New York Alliance Film Festival award-winning short film directed by Mckarthy Grimes, starring Charlotte Gaines, is a must-watch. The film follows a painter who creates art based on the world around her until she witnesses something that shakes her reality, making her question if she should stand by this principle of authenticity or repress what she has seen for the sake of what she considers beauty. 

 The student director captures this moral dilemma in a way that spirals, descending into anarchic beauty. The cinematography encapsulates a range of tones, at points being light and artistically inspiring. In the same breath, it is able to be ominous, eerie and full of heart-racing tension. Visuals aside, Canvas’ use of classical music is a choice that may catch an audience off-guard at first, but eases you into a world of complexity as the final artwork is revealed. 

On the subject of the film’s message, Grimes said the original concept was on “how the disturbing and traumatic things in life are more profitable monetarily than authentic pieces of work, so it was more about capitalism.” 

Later in the process, however, Grimes’ film went into a different direction. Grimes commented that to survive in the world, one must create. The painter in the film intakes so much of the world around her with an opposite output. “The reason the paintings don’t feel authentic is because they’re lying, not accepting the truth of evil in the world. But in the truth is the positive side,” Grimes said.

The truth is truly in the details, the viewer seeing as the painter does: a flower through a camera lens. The rest of the scene beyond the lens is up for the viewer to imagine. No two people will have the same experience of the film. It will leave you asking yourself to what degree art should imitate life in all its intricacies whether you are an artist or simply a person navigating through your own metaphorical lens. If you are looking for a thought-provoking short film to add to your watch-list, Canvas is the way to go.