There's this old joke about a small town exhibit of Norman Rockwell paintings where a snobbish big city critic is trashing the art at every turn.
"We know why you don't like this art". says a local.
"And why is that?" asks the critic.
"Because we don't need you to tell us if it's any good!"
And thus, this film begs the question, "Is collecting modern art about art or collecting autographs?"
This HBO documentary details the adventures of Teri Horton (Tugboat Annie of the Trailer Park and professional dumpster diver); a small town gal finding herself in possession of what might very well be an original Jackson Pollock potentially worth millions and sets out to prove its authenticity. Herein lies the rub of modern art; "If you don't know who did it, is it any good"? We watch as the painting is wagged from pompous art critics to curious aficionados, business persons and forensic specialists each with their own take and assessment of authenticity. Little of which has anything to do with the actual art on the canvas.
Here is a fascinating look at the facade of modern art and the stuffed shirts who make cowardly proclamations regarding authenticity while avoiding the content of the painting itself.
Interesting stuff whether you like modern art or not; and while Ms. Horton's rural irascibility wears mighty thin by the end of the film, there's enough fun and insight to give anyone an art lesson.
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