1) Burden Infamous for his dangerous and mostly painful performance work throughout the 1970s, Chris Burden has consistently pushed the envelope when it comes to using the body as medium. From having himself shot to crucifying himself to the roof of a VW Bus, Burden's artistic practice has been both passionately revered and equally stomach-churning. Through videos of his most famous performances, personal accounts from friends and critics alike, and his own video and voice journal recordings, Burden looks at the more personal side to the artist's sometimes seemingly insane practice. An American modern bad boy, Chris Burden is a forever memorable piece of art history and this documentary provides a comprehensive look behind his bizarre work.
2) The Cool School: How LA Learned To Love Art The story of the Ferus Gallery, and its leader Walter Hopps, who took a multi-faceted group of unconventional post-war artists and created a major launching point for their careers, and consequently placing LA on the art map. Between 1957 and 1966, the Ferus Gallery was a small storefront gallery that was credited with hosting artists such as Robert Irwin, Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses, Wallace Berman, Craig Kauffman, and Ed Kienholz. Through the grooming of these artists, and the LA art scene, the Ferus Gallery experienced a volatile history of money, interpersonal relationships, and the complication of egos. Although the gallery made a huge impact on both these artists and the market alike, these factors are what led to its ultimate demise in 1966, ironically when it was finally financially stable. Narrated by Jeff Bridges, watch the Ferus Gallery build an art scene within a decade, only to see the continued impact and lasting remnants of its demise.
3) Waste Land New York-based artist, Vik Muniz spent three years creating an art project at the world's largest landfill just outside of Rio de Janerio in Brazil. Interested in the catadores, the men and women who sift through the trash for income, Muniz creates six large-scale portraits dedicated to these workers, made out of this refuse that surrounds them. In an attempt to aid these individuals, Muniz gave the proceeds from selling the works at auction, as well as the earnings from the film and awards back to the people and their communities. In this heartwarming and award-winning documentary, Muniz takes a journey with these individuals, creating a new dialogue about our environment, as well as people's livelihoods through contemporary art.
1) My Architect: A Son's Journey A documentary that explores Louis Kahn, the famous architect who constructed iconic buildings across the globe. The film, however, is shot by Kahn's son, Nathanial, who is known to not have had the best relationship with his father. As he travels to a number of Kahn's singular structures, including the Salk Institute, Yale Center for British Art, and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Nathanial searches to understand his father through his creations. The film also includes his interviews with other renowned architects such as Frank Gehry, Moshe Safdie, and Anne Tyng, all in the hopes of furthering a cohesive semblance of the man that was Louis Kahn. My Architect provides an intimate look into both the personal life and professional aura that was Louis Kahn.
2)Eva Hesse Covering groundbreaking sculptor, Eva Hesse's life's work, this documentary looks at Hesse's beginnings as a German immigrant throughout her artistic brilliance in the 1960's. Mostly known as being associated with the Post-Minimal movement, Hesse is famous for manipulating materials that had rarely been worked with including plastic, fiberglass, and latex. The film explores her iconic work that instigated a different look at sculpture, but also created a discussion about gender and self. It covers the many struggles Hesse experienced throughout her life such as escaping the Nazi regime, her mother committing suicide when Hesse was only ten, and her own untimely death. The documentary gives the viewer an in depth look at one of the major figures within twentieth century art.
3) Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art A literally massive movement, Land Art was founded by a group of radical New York City artists in the 1960's and '70s, looking for a new kind of medium, who found it in the earth. The film looks at the careers of some of the top land artists, such as Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, and Nancy Holt, and their unforgettable endeavors. The projects are big and bold, the artists are insanely imaginative, and the process could not be more daunting. The film's coverage results in a thrilling energy, and encapsulates the amazing personality of each. As some of these pieces are decades old and still around, the history of each is explored in the film, and were effectively added to my list of places to see within my lifetime!