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Artflix: The Art Documentary Roundup

Got the urge to watch a documentary about art? For starters, why not sign into to your Netflix, because it is a veritable museum of art films. It does not take much internet savvy to set up Netflix and the Watch Instantly option is quick and easy to run. Here is a list of the best art documentaries that we were able to find (so far) and the following  is our quicklist for the Best of the Watch Instant Art:

The Art of the Steal – This movie is the most recent addition to the Watch Instant wonderland on Netflix. This is the true story of a multi-billion dollar art heist. The New York Times gives a comprehensive review and the whole debacle is a real cautionary tale on the perils facing cultural heritage.

Art 21: Art in the 21st Century The Art:21 franchise has been going strong for over five years now and their site has a great blog to boot. Each season features a group of 3-4 artists grouped by a theme. For example, Season Five has four sections: Compassion, Fantasy, Transformation and Systems

The Modernism of Julius Shulman – A comprehensive look at the work of Mr. Shulman, who is essentially the architect’s photographer.

The Cool School – Another watch instant “classic” – this film chronicles the rise of the Los Angeles art scene.

Beautiful Losers – A collage of terrific street artists from across American. A really entertaining examination of how street culture can influence and inform fine art, fashion and the commercial. Includes interviews with Margaret Kilgallen and Shepard Fairey.

Herb & Dorothy – The story of the famous, albeit unlikely New York collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel. Absolute proof positive that one need not be overtly wealthy to build a priceless art collection.

Art City – Has different seasons featuring contemporary artists and their newest work – similar to Art:21 but a bit rambling at times. Season are curated with regard to themes with Simplicity, among others.

The Five Obstructions – Not necessarily a film about fine art but an amazing look at the creative process. Lars von Trier, leader of the Dogme 95 film movement (abhors artificial lighting and props alongside its promotion of digitial filmmaking practices) Danish film-making heavy hitters square off with von Trier issuing a set of challenges to Jorgen Leth to remake his classic film The Perfect Human.

If you have a little patience, there are other movies you can send off for in your queue. Here’s our list:

The Collector: Allan Stone’s Life in Art – An intimate look at the compulsive New York collector-slash-gallerist Allan Stone. Directed and narrated by his daughter and a terrific portrait of an art collector in the purist sense.

Stolen – Chronicles the 1990 theft of 13 masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum near Boston. Among the missing are works by Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Objectified – An intelligent overview of modern design with commentary from the top industrial designers.

If we have left any great films, please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments OR send us an email at:
chicagoartcollector  – at – gmail dot com

Roundup by MK Meador and Chrissy Senger