“I don’t care for bohemian culture. Innocent people are hurt by it,” says Richard Neel, eldest son of the painter Alice Neel in Andrew Neel’s documentary film, now available on DVD from New Video. “I was hurt by it.” “You always hurt the one you love,” goes the old pop standard. In this film, Neel’s grandson Andrew, two sons, friends, and critics gather to sing a bittersweet love song to the woman who painted in obscurity for much of her life only to find renown near the very end. The resulting chorus reflects the disharmony of her personal life and the life she gave her sons (and abandoned daughter), as well as the deep feeling Alice had for each of her portrait subjects. It’s this paradox of unfeeling and feeling that makes Alice Neel the person and the artist, and now the film, so compelling. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "The Ones You Love."
[Many thanks to New Video for providing me with a review copy of Alice Neel, now available on DVD.]