Saturday, September 13, 2008

Alice Neel


I went to see the documentary about Alice Neel—made by her grandson Andrew Neel—last night. Pants backed out last minute due to some last minute moving procedures, but I did have the fine company of Dave Janik and Alicia Bergman. And in addition, we ran into K-Wolf and Wang at the theater. In times like these L.A. feels quite small because we comprised most of the audience.
These are the main things I might have learned from the film:

1. It is hard to be a female portrait painter in an era mostly dominated by males, Abstract Expressionism, and Greenbergian Modernism

2. You might have to make great sacrifices when you have children, often against their best interests, when you are trying to be a great artist.

3. The Great Depression sucked a big fat penis.

4. Anything can be accomplished, theoretically, if you are sufficiently tenacious.

5. Neelian doctrine: a lot of art is anti-psychological while in fact psychology creates the world.

6. If Alex Katz's ego was any bigger the movie screen might have caught on fire.

7. Michel Auder is awesome and deserves more screen time.


1. Would it have been 'worth it' for Alice Neel to have gone through everything she went through to pursue her art if she never got famous in the end?

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