Yes the title of this article does say 12 Movies About Art & Artists You Should See, but like art, movies can also be subjective and what one person likes, another may hate. Having said that, these are 12 movies, in no particular order, I have seen and would highly recommend you make some time to see. So put a couple hours aside, put your feet up and please give them a chance.
Starring: Salma Hayek & Alfred Molina Directed by: Julie Taymor
This is the true story of Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) and her husband Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), the larger-than-life painters who became the most acclaimed artists in Mexican history, and whose tempestuous love affair, landmark journeys to America, and outrageous personalities made them legendary.
Starring: Geoffrey Rush & Armie Hammer Directed by: Stanley Tucci
In Paris 1964, famed painter Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) bumps into his old friend James Lord (Armie Hammer), the American critic, and asks him to be a model for his latest portrait in his studio for a couple of days. Flattered by the request, Lord complies and as the days turn into weeks and so on, he realizes his entire life has been wasted by this erratic genius. The men’s time together jumps between joy and frustration, as we witness the chaotic genius of Giacometti as he completes one of his last masterpieces.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis & Brenda Fricker Directed by: Jim Sheridan
No one expects much from Christy Brown (Daniel Day-Lewis), a boy with cerebral palsy born into a working-class Irish family. Though Christy is a spastic quadriplegic and essentially paralyzed, a miraculous event occurs when, at the age of 5, he demonstrates control of his left foot by using chalk to scrawl a word on the floor. With the help of his steely mother (Brenda Fricker) — and no shortage of grit and determination — Christy overcomes his infirmity to become a painter, poet and author.
Starring: Lili Taylor, Stephen Dorff & Jared Harris Directed by: Mary Harron
Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor) is an aspiring writer who moves to New York City where she meets controversial artist Andy Warhol (Jared Harris) and a host of other eccentrics in the New York art scene. While a book publisher wants Valerie to write a novel, Valerie sets out to convince Warhol to produce her play “Up Your Ass.” Based on a true story, the film follows Valerie’s journey from ambitious author to obsessed, delusional assassin.
Starring: Ed Harris, Marcia Gay Harden & Jennifer Connelly Directed by: Ed Harris
The film is a look back into the life of an extraordinary man, a man who has fittingly been called “an artist dedicated to concealment, a celebrity who nobody knew.” As he struggled with self-doubt, engaging in a lonely tug-of-war between needing to express himself and wanting to shut the world out, Pollock began a downward spiral.
Directed by: Chris Moukarbel
On Oct. 1, 2013, the elusive British street artist known as Banksy launched a self-proclaimed month-long residency in New York City, posting one unique exhibit a day in an unannounced location, sparking a 31-day scavenger hunt both online and on the streets for Banksy’s work.
Capturing this month of madness, Banksy Does New York incorporates user-generated content, from YouTube videos to Instagram photos, from New Yorkers and Banksy hunters alike, whose responses became part of the work itself, for an exhilarating, detailed account of the uproar created by the mysterious artist.
Starring: Robert Gulaczyk, Douglas Booth, Chris O’Dowd & Saoirse Ronan Directed by: Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman
Loving Vincent is a biographical, animated film about the life of painter Vincent van Gogh, and in particular, the circumstances of his death. It is the first fully painted animated feature film. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 115 painters.
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Gary Oldman, Benicio del Toro & David Bowie Directed by: Julian Schnabel
Despite living a life of extreme poverty in Brooklyn, graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright) strives to rise up through the heady New York art scene of the 1970s and 1980s. He becomes the brightest star of neo-Expressionist painting and one of the most successful painters of his time, and even develops a friendship with Andy Warhol (David Bowie). But Basquiat’s tumultuous life, specifically his addiction to heroin, overshadows his rise to fame, threatening all.
Directed by: James Bogle
Whiteley is a visual journey into the private life and creative legacy of Australia’s most iconic artist, Brett Whiteley, told “in his own words” using personal letters, notebooks and photographs, interwoven with reconstructions, animations, archival interviews and rare footage.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Cillian Murphy & Tom Wilkinson Directed by: Peter Webber
When her father goes blind, Griet (Scarlett Johansson) must go to work as a maid for painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth). While cleaning the house, Griet strikes up an unlikely friendship with Vermeer, which both agree to keep secret for fear of provoking the painter’s jealous wife, Catharina (Essie Davis). When wealthy patron Van Ruijven (Tom Wilkinson) begins to lust after Griet, and commissions a painting of her, Vermeer and Griet are obliged to spend long hours alone together.
Directed by: Terry Zwigoff
Filmmaker Terry Zwigoff creates a complex but affectionate portrait of his longtime friend, underground cartoonist Robert Crumb. A notorious curmudgeon who would prefer to be alone with his fellow cartoonist wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb and his beloved vintage jazz records, Crumb reveals himself to be a complicated personality who suffered a troubled upbringing and harbors a philosophical opposition to the 1960s hippie underground that first celebrated his work.
Starring: Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz Directed by: Tim Burton
In the late 1950s and early ’60s, artist Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) achieves unbelievable fame and success with portraits of saucer-eyed waifs. However, no one realizes that his wife, Margaret (Amy Adams), is the real painter behind the brush. Although Margaret is horrified to learn that Walter is passing off her work as his own, she is too meek to protest too loudly.