Édition - 2024

Jeremy Newberger

Jeremy Newberger

Meilleur documentaire

Genre : documentaire Format : Documentaire Released on : 25 janvier 2024 Duration : 25:57 : United States


United States 25:57 2024-01-25


SELF-PORTRAIT BY AN UNKNOWN ARTIST is an intimate look at 70-year old Hudson Valley visual artist Lory Smith, who has prolifically produced art work for 50 years, but remains under the radar of the real art world. His is a story full of humor, ennui, chance encounters with famous people and a family history full of people with delusions of grandeur. Perhaps none more so than the artist himself. Comparing himself to "Ripped Van Wrinkle", the artist's last show was 20 years ago in a New York City townhouse hosted by event planner Andy King, who you might remember as the guy who tried to rescue the ill-fated Fyre Festival. The artist recounts his childhood in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City through home movies, his first encounter with a real artist, his mother's inspiration and support, his first forays into art making junk sculpture while living on a remote farm in Idaho with his best friend from childhood, his first pastel drawings made with a set purchased by his mother when he was a boy, his work in starting a film competition in 1978 for unknown filmmakers using unknown talent, which defined independent film and became the centerpiece of the Sundance Film Festival, where he helped program the festival for 20 years, all the while working away at his art in the dead of the night. The film follows the artist humorously recounting his encounters with the New York art world, follows him into his home, where his work is on prominent display and art studio, a unique structure built from booze bottles he dubbed "Le Hoot". The film highlights his philosophy of art, his connection to other artists through time, and most fascinating is to watch the artist at work, painting, scratching, rubbing, sanding to create the work that means so much to him, and perhaps only him. The documentary raises many questions about how to value art, how to keep creating in the face of obscurity, how to frame one's perceptions about success and failure. At the end, it is a tender, memorable and inspiring testament to commitment and obsession, a kaleidoscope of fascinating imagery rich in heart and soul. like some sort of secret power being unfurled before your eyes. And a reminder of the inherent value of a life's work, even if the world fails to recognize it. The key to success and longevity for an artist or anyone is to cherish the journey more than the destination. And for Lory Smith, the unknown artist's journey has been rich, even if he isn't. That was never the point. The film serves as a touching template for recognizing unknown artists everywhere. And there are far more unknown artists than famous ones. This documentary tries to shine a light on one of them.