Spring & Arnaud 2013
Distributed by First Run Features, 630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036; 212-243-0600
Produced by Maria Connolly, Katherine Knight and David Craig
Directed by Marcia Connolly and Katherine Knight
DVD, color, 88 min.
Documentary, Art, Photography, Death
Date Entered: 05/01/2017Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray, Director of Media Services, Christopher Newport University
This is a fascinating documentary about art, love and two artists living together as death influences their art. The artists Arnaud Maggs and his wife Spring Hurlbut find art and love despite their 25 year difference in ages. They embark on a conversation that blends real life mortality with the art they produce. It was shot in the months leading up to Maggs' death. The story is an art-filled journey into the lives of two established artist that live and work for their art.
One of the most interesting things is how the viewer has the chance to see the method that Spring uses when she is asked to curate an exhibit for a natural history museum. She discusses her work with found objects and you get to a rare firsthand account of the artistic process. She also speaks with Arnaud in intimate settings, so the viewer gets to see the couple interact and speak of life and death. It is as though both of them have always used the theme of mortality in their art, without them even knowing. A bit of an overview is given of Arnaud’s photographic work. At the center of this delicate documentary, As Arnaud's life has become finite with cancer, he does not lose his creativity with the camera. He takes a series of self-portraits that are almost comedic yet remain solemn.
As part of the extras on the disc, there are seven short films that would be especially useful in the classroom setting. Suitable for most anyone interested in the arts and how artists live and create. Recommended for higher education audiences but suitable for everyone.