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My Name Is Alan, and I Paint Pictures (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 19 September 2007 (USA)
What makes an artist? What drives someone to create a painting, a composition or write a novel? While many academic categories of art exist, not every artist easily fits into prescribed ... See full summary »


Johnny Boston


Johnny Boston
3 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Russell-Cowan Alan Russell-Cowan ... Himself
Monika Russell-Cowan Monika Russell-Cowan ... Herself
Richard Russell-Cowan Richard Russell-Cowan ... Himself
Raymond Bell Raymond Bell ... Himself
Bill Coffeill Bill Coffeill ... Himself
Tats Cru Tats Cru ... Themselves
Bizz DeCrenza Bizz DeCrenza ... Himself
David Dvorak David Dvorak ... Himself
Randy Hannah Randy Hannah ... Himself
Stephen Hirsch Stephen Hirsch ... Himself (as Dr. Stephen Hirsch)
Nancy Hoffman Nancy Hoffman ... Herself
Shedrick Jackson Shedrick Jackson ... Himself
Oliver Kamm Oliver Kamm ... Himself
John Kasper John Kasper ... Himself
Tristan Koch Tristan Koch ... Herself


What makes an artist? What drives someone to create a painting, a composition or write a novel? While many academic categories of art exist, not every artist easily fits into prescribed meanings. Alan Russell-Cowan is one such artist. Afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia, we watch Cowan struggle with the desire to be a great painter, while battling delusions and auditory hallucinations. My Name is Alan and I Paint Pictures examines Cowan's life, the role art and painting play in it, and how mental illness intertwines with artistic creation and perception. For Alan, painting becomes a cure for his symptoms, the means of his release - yet for us his painting means much more. It is an alternative perspective on art and life, a world of mental illness visually reconstructed for viewers who never experience this themselves Through Alan's life and work, we can examine the wider art world, questioning the means and rationale behind contemporary critical judgment of art. Written by Johnny Boston

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Not Rated


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

19 September 2007 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Raw Media Network See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Alan Russell-Cowan: I had a few friend's where I lived, and we were just bored and just get drunk and sniff glue.
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User Reviews

Compelling documentary tells the real story of a struggling Artist
8 May 2007 | by stotlebotlSee all my reviews

I saw an early screener of this documentary and I really enjoyed it. Johnny Boston captures the heart and soul of a little understood street artist named Alan who suffers bouts of mental illness. Alan has been struggling to survive in NYC and paint abstract pictures that have been sold to art collectors around the world. The film follows his life over a twenty year period, and traces the roots of his strengths and weaknesses from early childhood. I found the story very compelling, the editing was brisk, the illustrations and animations that were in the scenes also beautifully melded with Alan's life. I was haunted by some of the imagery long after the film ended.

I don't know when the public will be able to see this film, but it is really worth watching!

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