Beautiful Losers chronicles a loosely knit group of “street” artists who conquered the commercial and fine art worlds. Featured artists include Ed Templeton, Geoff McFetridge, Shepard Fairey, Margaret Kilgallen, Harmony Korine and others, all of which embody a punk-DIY spirit. Most interesting is the connection between contemporary art and skateboarding. If you are snickering you’ll swallow it when you immediately recognize the work. These artists (some of them anyway) are paid large sums to sell you diet cola. As a teen, Templeton was my favorite skater. I never liked the lines of his paintings but thrilled over the lines he cut with his skate. In the interim, his work has grown by light years. N-ville’s favorite cringe monger H. Korine is mostly on good behavior, filming his talking head shots in Fannie Mae Dees Park. He laments the lowered crime rate. Tricky implications of outsiders becoming insiders are glossed over, but Beautiful Losers is an inspiring film that can enlighten people as to where the art and design that surrounds them originated.
I assume the title of the film, and the group show it accompanied, is borrowed from Leonard Cohen’s great novel of the same name. Do it… yourself.