Carine Khalife creates Francis Bacon-inspired visuals for Makeunder video

Carine Khalife paints on glass to create Francis Bacon-inspired visuals for Makeunder music video

When creating this hand-painted music video for Oakland musician Makeunder, Carine Khalife looked to the works of figurative painter Francis Bacon (+ movie).

Khalife, a French visual artist, was approached by Hamilton Ulmer – who uses the moniker Makeunder – to create a video for his Great Headless Blank track.

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

Ulmer's only request was that the video involved paint, so Khalife pitched him some ideas and a number of references, including works by figurative painter Francis Bacon.

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

"I can't say I came up with an idea, really, but more with a sense of how the video should feel like," she told Dezeen. "We agreed on a couple of visuals and also that it could turn into something slightly different."

The song discusses themes of pain, grief, and the need to escape. Much of Khalife's experimentation was based around finding textures, shapes, colours, and movements that exude the emotions without being a direct illustration.

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

"Getting dressed, washing hands – these actions become challenging when one's own condition seems overwhelming," she said.

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

"The video shows literally when life pushes you, lift you up and turn you upside down restlessly, the feeling of spinning endlessly without really ever departing."

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

Using oil paints mixed with bike grease, Khalife painted each frame on a piece of glass placed on top of a light box.

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

To create movement in the paintings, she would pull and smudge the paint with a large brush and paper towels.

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

Each frame was captured by a camera fixed above the light box, then linked together in post-production software. All in all, the video took Khalife five months to make.

Great Headless Blank by MakeUnder, music video by Carine Khalife

"When I needed a reference, I would stand in my studio, and move my own body the way I wanted my character to move, and when I understood how it felt, I would paint it," she concluded.