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by Filmmaker Staff
Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell?
Object - Narrative - Film - Aggie - Foot
One object dominates the narrative of my documentary film Aggie: a four-and-a-half foot square canvas painted by Roy Lichtenstein in 1962 called Masterpiece. Who knows exactly what this piece meant to my mother, Agnes Gund, when she bought it in 1976, but like thousands of other contemporary artworks she has collected over her lifetime, Masterpiece came to feel like a friend. Aggie collects abstract works and representational works. She collects photographs, drawings, prints, sculptures, paintings, films, installations and performance pieces. She is known for her keen visual judgement.
According to my mother, artworks are gifts by artists given to the world and should be widely shared – accessible to everyone. Aggie has given thousands of artworks to museums, universities, libraries, embassies and the public square. But this time, she chose to sell an artwork. What she did with the proceeds of the sale of Masterpiece has become legendary: she dedicated $100 million to establish the Art for Justice Fund, which makes direct grants to artists and advocates focused on safely reducing the prison population, promoting justice reinvestment, and creating art that changes the narrative around mass incarceration.
James - Baldwin - Image - Thing - Reality
James Baldwin once wrote: “The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but rather, the reality of the force the thing contains.” In the case of “Masterpiece,” Aggie magically turned an object into justice because the...
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