Great movies about art
April 12, 2016

If you’re interested in finding out about iconic contemporary artists then try and catch these films. For clips and trailers search their titles in Google or YouTube. You could also rent or buy them on DVD and Blu-ray. You may find that some come with audio description – it’s usually an option in the set-up before you ‘play’ the main feature film.

Pollock directed by and starring Ed Harris

Pollock film still

This 2000 biopic tells the fascinating story of American abstract artist, Jackson Pollock. Famous for his technique of dripping paint in trails onto a canvas laid on the floor, this film shows the tensions of the creative process.

Factory Girl directed by George Hickenlooper and starring Sienna Miller

Factory girl

This film charts the rise and fall of socialite Edie Sedgwick and her relationship with influential Pop Artist, Andy Warhol.  She became part of his studio, called The Factory, where an eccentric group of his friends hang out, but the relationship soon starts to deteriorate.

Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy narrated by Rhys Ifans

Exit through the gift shop

For a provocative look at street art, track down this Banksy vehicle. Exit Through the Gift Shop follows an eccentric shop-keeper turned amateur film-maker as he attempts to capture many of the worlds most infamous vandals on camera, only to have a British stencil artist named Banksy turn the camcorder back on its owner with wildly unexpected results.

Frida directed by Julie Taymor and starring Salma Hayek


Frida Kahlo was one of the most influential female artists of the early twentieth century. A Mexican artist who used native folk art to examine issues of femininity, she had a turbulent relationship with her artist husband, Diego Rivera.

Basquiat directed by Julian Schnabel and starring Jeffrey White


Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist, living in a cardboard box, Jean-Michel is “discovered” by Andy Warhol’s art world and becomes a star.  But success comes at a high price.

Don’t forget to check out your local cinema for new releases on an art theme. Some cinemas may offer audio-described performances, just ask before booking your tickets.

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