May 14, 2007

Did I Tell You About My Movie???

2000 - Arc - 36x36

About the time a Madonna movie called 'The Next Best Thing' was being produced in 2000, I was working with the an independent movie company to provide 24 paintings for a movie about an artist who makes it to the big time by accident... to be called 'The Next Big Thing'. I could have told them they should come up with a better title and not be confused with the sound-alike... I could have told them (and often did, subtly) about a lot of changes they should have made. When I shipped the work to NYC I included used water buckets and several of my old hardware store brushes for props, along with photos of my palette of paint pots which made easy access to the gobs of paint it takes to create large abstract paintings.

Note the sizes of the brush and palette used to create the above painting (he is shown working on the requested work in progress for the above piece.) I cringed when I saw the tiny brush in the movie. Well, I cringed about some other things as well, but all in all, it wasn't as bad as a lot of other movies I've seen over the years. The artist goes on to have a show in the 'Whitley' (sic) Museum... about as close as my work will ever come to being included in the Whitney Museum.

The movie premiered in NYC the same weekend as another independent movie, 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'... a friend sent me a photo with the two movies on the same marquee, I've got it around here somewhere... and she remarked about the silliness of the title of the other movie... which, as you know, went on to be the sleeper hit of the year. If you google The Next Big Thing, you'll get lots of hits, but few of them are for the movie... ya gotta think about search engines when you title something these days!

A page of images of some of the other work included in the movie can be found here. The film is available from Netflix, but remember, it didn't get rave reviews for a reason. But never mind all that, it was a terrific opportunity; J and I could have been in the 'Whitley' audience with a speaking part: "It's him!" ...but we couldn't make the trip, the producer was a joy to work with and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Other points: They found my work on my website, and yes, I was properly compensated, plus they paid shipping both ways.


Self Taught Artist said...

I love that actor (Chris Eigman), that is soooo cool. I'm gonna rent it on netflix!

Janet said...

This is a very nice post, and I want to see how others react to this.

Rebecca Crowell said...

That's great--I want to see the movie now! It's rare to see really good art such as yours in a film with an artist character (other than in the ones about artists like Pollock and Frida Kahlo, where they use their real work or close facsimiles.) So often the work looks pretty lame, making the character less than believable.

It must have been a very interesting experience, frustrating aspects and all. The tiny brush speaks volumes about how little understanding there is of your painting process, but oh well. I think it is an honor, overall, to be chosen for this. And if you say "Whitley" fast and kind of mumble, it's pretty impressive!

Tracy said...

Very cool, Karen!

Your work looks great of course, but that shot of the actor painting with a small brush and a hand held palette (does anyone use those anymore?:)) IS pretty comical.

I am going to see if our local store has that video.

Martha Marshall said...

Well I just happen to have the movie on VHS! Got it a while back, when I first heard about your paintings being in it. It's so much fun to watch, knowing the "rest" of the story!

Lynne said...


I rented the movie when I first heard about it, and it was great fun to watch and a pleasure to see your art in it.

I love "Arc," by the way!


Walker said...

Well you forgot to mention the private screening we had of your movie during the 2002 Paint-L art show in Augusta, GA.

CMC said...

Yeah...what great fun that was in many Paint-l'ers and watching "your" movie, too.

KJ said...

I hope you laughed only at the appropriate times... and NOT at the paintings! KJ