2009 Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming
2008 Los Angeles Film Festival – Official Selection
Premiered on HBO July 7, 2008
The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale is the unusual story of the rise and fall of a major talent, along with Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat, from the 1980s art world. Though he was extremely talented with a profitable collection of work, Chuck Connelly ended up alienating every collector and gallery owner he worked with. This 63-minute documentary follows the life of this brilliant yet enigmatic painter, who had great success as a young artist but who now sees his career fading. Driven by desperation, and left by his wife during the course of this documentary, Connelly hires an actor to pose as a young, upcoming artist to sell Chuck’s work to galleries and art dealers. The film provides an intimate and often troubling character study of Connelly, a working-class guy from Pittsburgh who holds “traditional” beliefs that art is, above all, about personal expression and craftsmanship. These notions have proven to be less-than-fashionable in today’s elite art world, the inner workings of which are also glimpsed in the film. Shot over six years, this dramatic and entertaining documentary explores a painter’s passion for his work, despite being his own worst enemy.
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