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Beautiful Losers

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Art is a creation derived from passion, from the intensity of a single moment or a whole life hurled in a single motion into the blank space of a wall or a notebook or a canvas. Art is a continuous state of delusion and illusion, an eternal delving of life through creativity and of awareness through manifestation. Art is about Beauty, and Beauty is about Truth. Art cannot be delimitated into certain boundaries. Art is wild and passionate; Art is a copulation of body and spirit, a mingling of the instinctive and the intelligible. Art is not for Smart People only. Art is not Exclusive. Art is for Everyone. Art doesn’t require a fancy degree. Art requires Fervor and Energy. Art requires Friendship and Love. Art requires Openness. Art is in all of us if we are willing to embrace it. All of these things I’ve learnt by watching the amazingly inspiring movie Beautiful Losers:
Focusing on the career and work of a group of artists gathered in the rising skate-graffiti scene of New York City in the early nineties, this film is a recollection of these people’s creations of beauty through street-art and photography, a retrospective on their particulars origins in the world of Art, their lives as poor, hungered bohemians in the Lower East Side and their subsequent rise to worldwide fame and renown.
The movie consists mainly of interviews with the protagonists of this story, artists such as Thomas Campbell, Cheryl Dunn, Shepard Fairey, Harmony Korine, Geoff McFetridge, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Mike Mills, Steven "Espo" Powers, Aaron Rose, Ed Templeton and Deanna Templeton. These interviews introduce us into the passionate universe of creativity of DIY street art, inspired by the subculture of punk-rock and skateboarding.
We follow the lives and artistic success and failure of all of these individuals, their interactions with one another and their collaborations. We delve deep into their artistic backgrounds to discover that art doesn’t star with a College degree and a big shot exposition in Manhattan or Paris; it starts with the little drawings at the side of math books and biology manuals you used to sketch while being bored to death in class, with those painted handprints on paper you did in the first grade that your mom hanged on the fridge, with amateur photographs of your friends and your surroundings, of random parties and sunsets, of people vomiting and smoking joints. For art is the will to create something, anything, to grasp reality and transform it into expression.
This is a great documentary with really great footage. We can actually see the process of making a piece of art. We see them on the streets hanging from ladders, stretching beyond possibility to paint and write on those unreachable places, scribbling their names in trains, painting cars and crashing them one against the other, making billboards and advertisement for millions to see. We see the amazing chemistry lying and exploding between these characters. We see them evolve from shy and weird graffiti painters into a consistent group of artists displaying their art and working all together in massive expositions, where the dynamic and the unbelievable energy draws them all together creating an effusive relationship based on friendship and love and an everlasting bond of creativity.
You will never forget this film, it will have a huge impact upon your life and your view of the world, there’s no way around it. It is for the young people to see, for teenagers like us, for us not to forget about the wonderful act of creating art but to carry it on throughout our lives, for us not to become the formal and serious adults the world expects us to be, but to remain as creative people expressing ourselves constantly, to be inspired and filled with passion, to be open to embrace anything that comes our way and use it as a means of creation. Passion is the key to this, for passion is that thing most people forget and neglect as they grow old and weary.
This movie will throw you into a world of enormous inspiration, driven by the work and the fascinating anecdotes of highly talented individuals who started just like anybody else, just like me and you, as losers in highschool and weirdoes in skate parks, and ended up changing the way Art is conceived and displaying their work all over the world. Believe me, after you watch this film you will HAVE the NEED to make some art yourself.



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