Chuck Connelly, a rancorous Neo-Expressionist whose paintings were popular in the 80’s, is the subject of a new HBO documentary, “The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not For Sale.” In the NY Times, Daniel E. Slotnick visits Connelly in his Philadelphia studio to chat with the painter about the film. “The interior of the rambling Victorian house is dark. The sparse furnishings in the front rooms are covered by a patina of cigarette ash, gobs of dried paint and coffee cans filled with paintbrushes. Hundreds of paintings lean against walls and are piled against the porch windows. Lounging comfortably amid the detritus is their creator, Chuck Connelly, 53, a tall, graying man whose easy laugh belies his careworn face, occasional rants and long career slide. Mr. Connelly’s professional fortunes, chronicled in a documentary that will be shown on Monday on HBO, have gone from selling ‘Ausburg,’ a painting from his first New York show, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1984 to compensating his accountant with a painting in recent years. Yet the film does not entirely blame a fickle art world for his setbacks. As the documentary recounts, Mr. Connelly alienated many dealers, patrons and buyers with his hot temper, insulting remarks and wild ways. Mr. Connelly has mixed feelings about the film. ‘They only had the worst shots of me, they only shot when I was drunk,’ he said. He added that he was ‘not a failure like the movie says.’ Read more. Check out clips from the film on YouTube.
“The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not For Sale,” HBO, Monday, July 7, 9 pm. Directed by Jeff Stimmel.
“Chuck Connelly: Selected Works 1977-2008,” DFN Gallery, New York, NY. Through July 18.
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