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Waiting for Hockney
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Billy Pappas, a very self-insulated and autistic young man with a fine talent for draftsmanship, worked just over 8 years on a microscopically realistic (we call it "hyperrealistic") portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Somehow he got the wacky notion that famous artist David Hockney was a kindred spirit and could validate the work - Billy knowing that he'd conquered an unconquered level of portraiture-with-a-pencil, Billy knowing that only Hockney could realize what he'd done and proclaim Billy's genius.
Things don't work out that way. While I found this documentary format tiresome (dopey, whiny college-station music and lingering shots of Billy's eyes), I found his drawing to be a technical marvel. We artists all know technical marvels get you nowhere. That is where Billy got. Even after he landed a meeting with Hockney at Hockney's California home. Poor guy.
While Hockney remained notoriously silent about the whole thing, his 'entourage' praised Billy to the skies. When interviewed, they changed their tune, actually mocking him and his drawing. It's the art world! Did the poor guy really think he was getting somewhere? When Hockney forgot all about him (probably about an hour after Billy left Hockney's residence), Billy turned to Bill Gates, hoping for God knows what.
Billy was rewarded with a terse email saying Bill Gates "doesn't do this sort of thing" and ordering Billy to stop pursuing Gates. So much for the patrons and the philanthropists!Read more ›
Billy sets his sights on doing something that has never before been done. He wants to compose a portrait that is more real and richer in detail than any previous hand drawn work--and his process is to approach it from the microscopic level. For over eight years, he toils continually on a reproduction of a photo of the iconic Marilyn Monroe. Indulged by his loving parents, he all but shuts himself off from the world convinced that his project will catapult him into the art scene stratosphere. But his work, when it's done, is so technically impressive that he needs to unveil it to someone who can understand how revolutionary it is. He convinces himself that he and renowned artist David Hockney are intellectually simpatico, and that Hockney should be the person to validate his life's work. With dogged determination, he pursues Hockney and finally scores a meeting! Will it be a melding of minds?Read more ›
But perhaps the most intriguing feature is the number of grown-up people who abetted this young man all along the way. These include his parents and various others who should know better. One would think that surely someone with some knowledge of how you make a living in the art business would have happened along and pointed out that doing the world's most detailed sketch might be fun, but it is not the way to earn a steady income.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Baltimore artist works for eight years on a very detailed drawing of Marilyn Monroe and then contacts an art critic to get his thoughts. Surreal. Insightful. Some swearing.Published 1 month ago by ellison
So is this the story of an obsession ,a passion or a 10 year neurosis? That is the question.
I would say the film reveals a very focused artist who wants to turn the art... Read more
It was an interesting movie. Kind of artsy fartsy but still good. If you want to give something new a change try this movie.Published on January 27, 2013 by Tucker