Three Movies

From the 700 shelves.

I watched three different movies over the past month from the 700 shelves:

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Basquiat

(This was a rewatch thanks to a conversation with a friend about this artist. He had the movie and let me borrow it.) The first time I watched it I didn't even realize David Bowie played Andy Warhol. I forgot about the scenes where Basquiat draws with his food. I love his childlike connection to making art anywhere, and remembered why I was originally so drawn to him - because he didn't care about the barriers that some people try to construct for the sake of their ego.

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The Universe of Keith Haring

While I was familiar with the style of art of Keith Haring, I did not know his name or anything about him.  When I was reading Nothing Is Lost, Ingrid Sischy introduced me to Keith Haring, and I absolutely loved that essay and how he was described. So naturally I wanted to dive a little deeper into his world. I checked out a children's book about him, written by his sister, as well as this documentary.

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The children's book I shared with one of my Art Therapy classes because on their own, knowing nothing of Keith Haring, one of my students came up with this character called "Yellow Man." He used a stencil he found in the art room and painted it yellow and then went on and on about Yellow Man.

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Soon everyone else became interested in doing Yellow Man art and I started hanging it up together so they could see how an art series begins to take form. Then when I checked out the Keith Haring children's book and saw the Yellow Man on the front cover, I had to share his art with them. One boy spent half the class reading the book and then asked if he could keep it. They couldn't believe this man was famous for doing something they came up with. We all quite liked his graffiti chalk drawings in the subway stations, and I liked that he painted a bike.

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Feeling particularly in the spirit of Keith Haring, and thinking about how much I want our coffee shop to be a place for artists and art lovers, I painted some coffee mugs.

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Tim's Vermeer

I forget how I heard about this film, but was excited that my library had it to rent. I watched this in my garage while practicing changing a flat tire on my bicycle.

This documentary is all about this man named Tim who loves Vermeer and spent years of his life replicating a Vermeer painting in order to try and prove his theory that Vermeer used optical devices to assist him in the painting process.

The extremes to which this man went to in order to pull this off blew me away. I would never have the patience or desire to complete a monumental task such as this.

I did find it interesting to think about how artists can use all manner of "tips and tricks" to pull off their vision, which I love because I grow tired of hearing all the excuses used for why artists aren't really artists because they "cheat." My biggest pet peeve is that an artist isn't really an artist if they have to look at something to draw it instead of it coming from their imagination. My favorite way to draw is by looking at something for reference, and I stand by the fact that is most certainly NOT cheating. All these rules or standards make perfectly creative people think they can't be an artist, and it drives me crazy.

So Tim interests me because he says he is not a painter whatsoever, and yet he sees this project through to the end, achieving his goal with great results, thus challenging any seasoned painter.

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