The Art Life

The Art Life started life as a blog - and was written by a group of anonymous artists and writers. The blog was launched into the virtual world of the web in 2004 and quickly gained notoriety in art circles for its candid views, enthusiastic support for artists and galleries, and its healthy disdain for the crusty establishment art critics of the old media. The Art Life's readership grew steadily from just a few hundred hits a month to thousands a week. The Art Life is presented by Andrew Frost, the editor and co-founder of The Art Life's blog and who is a middle-aged white guy in a suit who adores banging on about art. The series tackles these ideas in three episodes, drawing on the rich and varied talents of Australian contemporary artists. Directed by Brendan Fletcher, award-winning director of the ABC TV documentary 900 Neighbours and produced by veteran film maverick Frank Haines (Girl in a Mirror, Dark Science), The Art Life allows artists to speak for themselves while setting their work in the context of Australian and international art.

Ep 1 - Out There If 95% of Australians live in the suburbs, what influence do the 'burbs have on the artists who live there and the art they make? We examine recent examples of contemporary art made in the shadow of the most politically and philosophically contested landscape in Australia. We meet performance artist Rachel Scott, a young artist who makes art about making art in the suburbs; and we examine the art, life and legacy of the late painter Howard Arkley, one of the best examples of everything that's good - and bad - about living in the 'burbs. We go over to the dark side with painter Adam Cullen, who shares his uncompromising yet compassionate view of the burbs, his thoughts on the men who killed Anita Cobby and why he decided to paint their portraits; we relax with the melancholy work of Noel McKenna and conclude with the shopping trolley opera photos of Matthew Sleeth.

Ep 2 - Millions of Images In a world full of images, how do Australian artists contend with the influence of media on our lives? Do they try to meet the spectacle on its own terms, or do they opt for something else? We examine the influence of advertising, media and art on our lives and talk to some artists who take these ideas as the background of their work. We talk to Merilyn Fairskye and look at her hypnotic video works of international airports; discuss the perfection of advertising with Patrina Hicks; meet the cool, ironic yet sincere Darren Sylvester; gaze in wonder at the video art of David Rosetzky and his cast of bemused, befuddled, yet philosophical post-teenagers. We then switch gears with artist "TV" Moore and his nightmarish video 'Deadzone' before dropping into the world of the "boarding house aesthetic" as practised by Glenn Sloggett; we take a tour of living rooms around the world via the videos of Emil Goh and end with the seaside imagery of Narelle Autio.

Ep 3 - Always Busy Dying Always Busy Dying (the Life and Death of painting) explores how painting has experienced a series of 'deaths' – brought on by the advent of cinema, photography, abstraction and then postmodernism. Through paintings by contemporary Australian artists Jan Nelson, Lily Hibberd, Mark Titmarsh, Fiona Lowry, Del Kathryn Barton, Frost looks at how each of these deaths actually served to resurrect painting through reinvention. The episode considers how painting has managed to survive in our contemporary world.

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Production Year: 
3 x 27 mins
Series Episode
Standard $165
Schools $110
Home $33

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