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Beautiful Losers (DVD Review)

5 Dec, 2009 By: Angelique Flores

Beautiful losers

Street 12/8/09
Box Office $0.06 million
$29.99 DVD
Not rated.

Beautiful Losers is an homage to a group of artists and friends who unintentionally created an art movement during the early 1990s.

These artists, writers and filmmakers were focused on art, skateboarding, graffiti, surf, punk, DIY, hanging out and having fun. They created art much in the way children do: for the sheer joy of it. The way artist and pro skater Ed Templeton puts it, he never grew out of that.

Artists such as Barry McGee, Geoff McFetredge, the late Margaret Kilgallen, filmmaker Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo), director and album cover designer Mike Mills, pro skateboarder and artist Mark Gonzales, and Shepard Fairey, Obey founder and creator of the Obama Hope poster, came together at Alleged Gallery in New York City, owned and directed by Aaron Rose. Much of their art is modern, graffiti, pop, propaganda and skateboard art.

The culmination of the movement came with the Beautiful Losers art exhibit that toured around the world.
Through interviews and archived footage, the artists talk about their influences, careers and their evolution from struggling artists to more serious, working artists.

Backed by original music by Money Mark, the film is appropriately artistic, with scenes of graphic animation and cinematic collages.

Though some of the artists are a bit too self-indulgent, they all seem honest and passionate about their work. What’s missing is a little context to the movement as well as a clear timeline.

Bonus materials include “Make Something With …” featurettes with Rose, Templeton, Mills, Mark and others each demonstrating how to make something in each artist’s realm, from making a zine to making music.

Viewers who like modern art, especially current working artists, should check this one out.

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