To deepen your knowledge of the art system, there are many documentaries that you can comfortably watch from your sofa.
Among these, here are the 5 documentaries that every art lover must absolutely see!
«It isn’t art unless you can sell it for lots of money», states the poster of Saving Banksy, the documentary released in 2017, directed by Colin Day. The film sheds light on the art flippers of Banksy’s works, deepening the relationship between Street Art and the commodification of works of art. The documentary investigates the mysterious figure of Banksy, asking ethical questions about the relationship between Street art and the art market. For example, is it right to tear Banksy’s works – an artist highly rated on the international art market – from the walls to bring them to museums, or to sell them to private individuals through auction houses? Through a series of interviews with colleagues very close to the artist, such as Ben Eine, Risk, Revok, Shoe, Lister and Doze Green, Saving Banksy tells the Bristol artist and his relationship with the art system.
THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING
The Price of Everything is the title of a 2018 documentary directed by Nathaniel Kahn and produced by HBO, presented at the Sundance Film Festival. Who decides what trendy art is? And who sets the prices of the artworks? The documentary reflects on the relationship between art and money, on the role of the artist and on the monetary and artistic value of his works. The art market is told through the voice of numerous protagonists of the art system such as the artists Jeff Koons and George Condo, the gallerist Gavin Brown, Oliver Barker and Amy Cappellazzo of Sotheby’s or the irreverent voice of the American art critic Jerry Saltz.
PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: ART ADDICT
The 2015 documentary is the chronicle of the life of the most influential woman in the history of contemporary art: Peggy Guggenheim. Peggy Guggenheim was a central figure in the art world, having been not only a collector of works, but also of artists. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict tells the story of Peggy’s passionate existence, made of art, relationships and friendships with characters such as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Marcel Duchamp. The film is also a compendium of the artistic currents of the twentieth century, mixed with the wild and iconoclastic life of one of the most powerful women in art history.
YAYOI KUSAMA. INFINITY
Kusama – Infinity, the 2018 documentary film, directed by Heather Lenz, tells the story of one of the most exceptional artists of our time, Yayoi Kusama. The film explores her rise to success by showing his talent, obsessions, mental illness and the difficulties encountered along his way up close. Using archival and unpublished material, the story of Kusama is told in an intimate way, through his own words and the touching interviews with museum directors, gallery owners, curators, critics, collectors, friends and collaborators.
FOLLOW THE PAINTINGS
Follow the paintings is a 2016 documentary, produced by Sky, which investigates the art market, its silences and its reticence on opaque investments. The global art market has reached around $ 67 billion in transactions; more than double than ten years ago. Galleries and auction houses continue to strike records. Behind the purchases: museums, enthusiasts, large collections. But not only. Money laundering in paintings and galleries is an international problem, known to experts, but rarely addressed. The investigation explores it for the first time through two concrete cases and the answers of Italian and European experts to some key questions.