Art Flicks on Portraiture
Spring may be here but flowers don’t bloom without a little rain. We’ve got you covered for these wet and lazy afternoons on your sofa — check out our film tip list for all the best movies and documentaries to watch on the stars of our eleventh episode on self-portraiture, Eye to I.
ALEX ISRAEL | SPF 18, 2017 – NETFLIX
SPF-18, the feature-length film directed by the Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel is, like so much of his work, about his native city. The production is a mixture of the tone of Israel’s tongue-in-cheek talk show As It Lays and the brightly-colored palettes of his sky paintings. SPF-18 is a true movie that made its debut not in a gallery, but during a blowout Hollywood premiere.
MARINA ABRAMOVIC | THE ARTIST IS PRESENT, 2010 – AMAZONE PRIME
This stellar documentary follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The film also goes back in time to investigate how the show, The Artist is Present, fits into Abramovic’s oeuvre. In this documentary you’ll learn all about her early solo career and how it shaped her later life, including the twelve-year collaboration with the German artist Ulay, with whom she also had a passionate love affair. Click here to watch the trailer.
A special shout out to Jeff Dupre for letting us use part of this documentary in episode 11.
AMOAKO BOAFO | DIOR SHOW, 2020 – YOUTUBE
Amoako Boafa is the star of both our episode on art-fashion collaborations and of the latest episode on self-portraits. For Summer 2021, Dior men’s Artistic Director Kim Jones collaborated with the Ghana-born, Vienna-trained artist. Their meeting at the Rubell Museum in Miami was artistic love at first sight; Kim Jones and Amoako Boafo have a true mutual admiration for each other’s work. Each piece is a collaboration, a dialogue. The video that accompanies the collection starts with a visit to the artist studio and is a great film for art and fashion lovers alike.
GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN, 2008
Enjoyed learning about the enigmatic photographer Cindy Sherman in our eleventh episode: Eye to I? Check out this documentary on her relationship with art-scene commentator Paul Hasegawa-Overacker. Guest of Cindy Sherman takes an eye-opening look at what happens when a skeptical outsider finds himself romantically involved with the ultimate insider. Filmed over 15 years and including interviews with a veritable who’s who of the art and entertainment world the film paints a vivid picture of the New York art scene that is also a witty, illuminating look at celebrity, male anxiety, and art. Click here to watch the trailer.
Philip Akkerman is the master of self portraits. He makes one almost every other day. In this video portrait he talks about his need to make these portraits and where the desire comes from. A shout out to The Ketelfactory in Schiedam for letting us use this video in episode 11, Eye to I. (Interview in Dutch with English Subs).
FROM A PLACE OF LOVE | ZANELE MUHOLI, 2020
In this beautifully made film, members of the QTIPOC community (Queer, Trans, and Intersex People Of Colour) reflect on their experience of ‘home’ and ‘love’. Filmed in the exhibition of Zanele Muholi’s art at Tate Modern prior to lockdown, participants responded to Muholi’s work.
ERWIN OLAF | THE LEGACY, 2019
In 2019 photographer Erwin Olaf celebrated his sixtieth year. In the documentary by director Michiel van Erp, Olaf asks himself big questions: what was the meaning of his career? Is his work valuable, and will it still be the case in the future? Has his artistry been of use? And with that his life?
WITH GILBERT AND GEORGE, 2008
Julian Cole has known the artists Gilbert & George since 1986, when he posed for the pair as a model. A few decades later, he created a beautiful film as an ode to the artistic duo. Cole’s cinematic portrait describes the duo’s career in full glory: from its modest beginnings to their current status as high earners and stars of the art world. Click here to watch the trailer.
VINCENT VAN GOGH | LOVING VINCENT, 2017 – APPLE TV & PATHE THUIS
The world’s first fully oil-painted feature film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. This animated story is not for children but for art lovers and has been nominated for an Oscar in 2018. A true beauty. Click here to watch the trailer.
FRIDA KAHLO | FRIDA, 2002
Starring Academy Award–nominee Salma Hayek, this film is a must-see for anyone who’s curious about the ever-intriguing Frida Kahlo. Set in Mexico City, the film provides an up-close look into the life of one of the world’s most popular female artists. With her iconic unibrow, Kahlo has become an admired storyteller and cult figure by reflecting her turbulent life in her thought-provoking self-portraits. A great pick for all ‘Fridamaniacs’ out there. Click here to watch the trailer.