Last week, thanks to the generosity of Shane Gill and Pitch Control PR, C. and I took in a screening of Beautiful Losers, a wonderful doc about the art scene surrounding the Alleged Gallery in New York.
No, that's not it. Beautiful Losers is a film about a group of artists, some of whom had some connection with Alleged, a gallery I never had the pleasure of visiting, but which was quite important, even inspiring a book. No, that's not quite right, the movie is about a group of artists who participated in a traveling exhibition show (with accompanying catalog) that captured the ideas and ideals of a small part of a generation.
No, that's wrong, too. Beautiful Losers is a film about art. Period. Yes, it's about skateboarding (Ed Templeton) and stencils (Shepard Fairey), love (Mike McGee) and loss (Margaret Kilgallen), New York (Stephen Powers) and LA (where much of the art found its largest audience). It's about record covers and suburbia, friendship and community, self-exploration and -discovery.
Some parts work better than others. Overall, the movie is an excellent documentation of a specific time in art, blending past and present well. At times, the film feels long, and some parts -- such as those including Harmony Korine -- feel somewhat out of place. But if you're into the kind of art featured in Giant Robot and Juxtapoz magazines -- and even if you're not -- it's a must see.
The movie makes me want to carry a Sharpie at all times. That's not a bad thing.