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Once, a journalist asked Salvador Dalì: “If the Prado had been burning down, what would you have taken?”. The artist, in the third person, replied: “Dalí would take the air, nothing less than the air, and specifically the air contained in Velázquez's Las Meninas, which is the air of the finest quality that exists.”

In 2019, Del Prado Museum was the subject of a very interesting documentary narrated by Jeremy Irons. It is a special privilege to see, spy, and absorb what it is kept inside a Museum. Especially if the venue we are watching about has more than 200 years, and it is a guardian for old masters as Francisco Goya, Mantegna and Botticelli, El Greco, Titian and Hieronymus Bosch, Velazquez, Rubens or a special contemporary guest star as the architect Norman Foster, who recently made the restoration of some rooms of the museum. Del Prado’s documentary took inspiration from The Russian Ark by Aleksandr Sokurov. Here, the director, with an extraordinary 90 minutes sequence from the beginning to the very end of the venue, narrated the Hermitage museum throughout various centuries and paintings. During this last year, some authors of movie pictures and documentaries focused their attention towards art, from modern to the contemporary one.

 

The Russian Ark by Aleksandr Sokurov, movie frame.

 

Frida, by Julie Taymor, movie frame.

 

For the art system, this gesture represents a big step, and an important sign to make people understand what’s behind the scene of an artist’s life and works; what is going on during an installation and preparation of an exhibition, for instance in a Museum, or, again, the most important topic, how art is important in everyday day life. Not for some conceptual or abstract “healthy” reasons, but for our roots and our history. I would never stop to underline how fundamental culture and art are: they fix traces that will always remain on humanity paths. And so does a movie. On this magazine, we already wrote about this field. On how directors from the past, masters, had been influenced by painting and photography – from Luchino Visconti, to Stanley Kubrick in the article titled When art and movies are good binomial!, on how an artist's life seems to be perfectly fitting for a movie screenplay such as Frida Kahlo’one, as we can watch from the last documentary Viva la Vida or in the narrative really well made Frida, made in 2002 by Julie Taymor and interpreted by Salma Hayek, who became, later, the wife of one of the most well known contemporary art collector, François Pinault.

 

Kusama Infinity, by Heather Lenz, movie frame.

 

Loving Vincent, by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, movie frame.

 

Young Picasso, by Phil Grabsky, movie poster.

 

Again, as in a short circuit, art and movies somehow melt together. Last year signed the anniversary of two masters like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. For Leonardo, we testified some good production, such as Leonardo 500, or the Italian Being Leonardo Da Vinci, by Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, or some inadequate ones as Me, Leonardo. Instead, Sin by Andrey Konchalovskiy well defined the passion, obsession, persistence and hard work of this incredibly talented sculptor. Also, contemporary artists and pop ones are often under the lens of movie and documentaries, Banksy, for instance, is one of the people favorite artist, and Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art by Elio Espana, is less interesting, but well-acclaimed, The man who stole Banksy by Marco Proserpio made their ways to movies theatres all over Europe. In 2019/2020 names as Botero, Palladio, Monet, Picasso – with the interesting Young Picasso by Phil Grabsky, to add some filmography to this great painter, or Loving Vincent by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, all made by animated drawings and pictures, The Greenaway Alphabet, back to 2017, Kusama Infinity by Heather Lenz among others, reached a big audience that filled cinemas and, let’s hope, their knowledge and souls. 

Cover image: The Greenaway Alphabet, by Saskia Boddeke, movie frame.

Written by Rossella Farinotti

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.
 

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