Oskar Fischinger was born June 22, 1900 in Gelnhausen, Germany. He created abstract animation and was considered a pioneer of his time. He was also one of the leading animators in Europe and was part of the German abstract animation movement. Oskar influenced the shape of animation for the rest of the century all over the world and gave animated films a new status.Oskar created works of art that expressed what people visualize when they are listening to music. This is called “Visual Music.” Oskar stepped into the limelight when he created a Muratti cigarette animated commercial in 1934 where he animated dancing cigarettes . Oskars work amazed many people and they hardly focused on the product itself.
One of Oscar’s famous works include the animation titled“Composition In Blue.” This animation included colored shapes that moved in sync to the song “The Merry Wives of Windsor” by Nicolai. It was shot in Gasper color and highlighted. Oskar had experimented with new techniques such as the pixilation of three dimensional forms in this animation. “Composition In Blue” won the Brussels and Venice festival in 1935.
“Studies” and “The Woman in the Moon” are both examples of Oskar’s earlier works. “Studies” was a collection of 12 of Oskar’s abstract film series. It was shown in advertisements and recordings 60 years before the MTV channel was created. It was considered the first music videos of its time. The “Studies” are all about three minutes long and contain about five thousand drawings coordinated to music. Oskar worked with his younger brother, Hans Fischinger, on Studies no.9 and no.10. They unfortunately had a fight and never completed Study no.14. Oskar also created visual effects for “The Woman in the Moon” for Fritz Lang. Later, in 1936, Oskar worked with Paramount and in 1937 he went to work in MGM.
In 1938, Oskar created a new piece titled “An Optical Poem.” In this piece, the shapes interact with each other and create real harmony along with the music. He also worked on oil paintings and independent films. In the same year, Oskar began to work with Disney. His style of mixing music along with animation had inspired Disney. He worked on the “Toccata and Fugue” sequence in Disney’s movie Fantasia. Oskar worked with Disney for nine months and left later in 1939. In 1947, Oskar had a fight with Rebay over his film “Motion Painting no.1.” He never received enough financial back up to complete another film. Oskar later died January 31, 1967 in Los Angeles, California.
Oskars works are significant because he created a new form of expression within art. He found a way to express what goes on in the minds of others while listening to music. It is very important for an artist to communicate on a personal level with their audience. This makes the audience admire the artist and want to support him, or even create their own works of art.
Cavalier, Stephen. The World History of Animation. Berkeley, CA: U of California, 2011. Print.
Beck, Jerry. Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, the History of Cartoon, Anime and CGI. Print.