Here in the United States, Avatar was released on DVD this past week. It was one of those movies that, for me, lived up to its hype. I enjoyed both the story and the special effects. I might not be the only one that felt the virtual world in the movie seemed familiar to me. That’s because I’ve been mesmerized by the world of Roger Dean since I was a kid. If you’ve ever been to a record store and checked out albums by the progressive rock band Yes, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The combination of Roger Dean’s art and Yes’ music is amazing.
I don’t know if James Cameron officially modeled the virtual world in Avatar after the work of Roger Dean, but one look and you can see the striking similarities. In the introduction to Roger Dean’s book, Views, Donald Lehmkuhl says this about Roger Dean and his art:
” He shows us insects with nuclear power, fish swimming in air, waterfalls without a source. He fuses Stonehenge with spacecraft and gives elephants wings. He goes out of this world. Out of perceived reality. He pursues the incomparable. Where he goes, is also a reality. His work is about this reality: about the true nature of things, of forms, of appearances, of feelings, spiritual feelings which (like music) are themselves both perceptions and stirred memories of places, events, creations long ago, or- more likely – long ahead.”