Monday, September 13, 2010

The Ones You Love: The Art of Alice Neel

“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.]

1 comment:

Laura Wilde said...

I just discovered her work last week. I absolutely love her and her paintings. Her fame is coming a little late but she was so good. I read that Francis Bacon would only paint from photos because he didn't want to be involved with the feelings of the sitter. From what I understand that is WHY she painted people from life. Good for her :)