Directed by Victor Kanefsky
Canadian Theatrical Premiere
Starts October 14
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W.
Purchase tickets here
** Followed by Live Skype interview with Robert Cenedella
Friday, Oct. 14 – 6:30 pm**
Saturday, Oct. 15 – 1:00pm**
Sunday, Oct. 16 – 4:00pm** & 9:15pm
Monday, Oct. 17 – 4:00pm & 6:30pm
Thursday, Oct. 20 – 3:00pm
“A little gem… a witty, joyous, and utterly deserved takedown of the art industry”
*New York Times CRITIC’s PICK! “Robust documentary portrait of lifelong rebel and art-world gadfly.”
“Meet The NYC artist who crucified Santa Claus.”
“An intimate portrait of the iconoclastic artist Robert Cenedella… Socially conscious and often mordantly humorous, the paintings are wonderfully exhibited in this film which benefits from being seen on the big screen.”
–Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“A loving tribute to one of the most delightfully tenacious and ardently passionate voices in modern art… highly recommended to art junkies”
–Oktay Ege Kozak, THE PLAYLIST
Artist Robert Cenedella is available for interviews by skype and phone.
“Art from day one for me was the special part of life – the part of life that was above the gutter.” – Robert Cenedella
In a madcap art world obsessed with money, fame and hype, how does an artist driven by justice, defiance and his own singular style thrive?
Art Bastard is the rousing tale of a rebel who never fit into today’s art world, yet has become one of its most provocative, rabble-rousing characters. At once a portrait of the artist as a young troublemaker, an alternate history of modern art and a quintessential New York story, Art Bastard is as energetic, humorous and unapologetically honest as the uncompromising man at its center: Robert Cenedella.
Cenedella was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. But he has essentially served as the antiWarhol. His noisy, raucous, color-splashed paintings of city scenes approach the world with a sincerity that defies the irony, frivolity and controversy-for-the-sake-of-controversy that have become the cultural currency since the ’60s.
Yet, as Art Bastard reveals, Cenedella couldn’t be any more a product of these times. He was the son of a blacklisted writer, raised on crushed ’50s dreams. He’s been haunted by dark family secrets that had him questioning his identity. His passionate convictions started so young they got him kicked out of high school. Even when he found solace and expression in art, he was an unabashed outsider—never a gallery darling, not pursued by museum curators, but an artist who was going to have his say regardless of who was paying attention. Even so, over time, Cenedella’s vast canvases, rife with the chaotic beauty of politics, humor, history and humanity, drew admirers from all walks of society—even from the vaunted art patrons who rejected him.
In a fast-moving series of riveting interviews with family members, art critics, museum directors, New York power brokers, art students and Cenedella himself, director Victor Kanefsky candidly presents Cenedella’s personal journey—and reveals the creation of a modern art career that ignored all the modern art rules.
About Victor Kanefsky
Victor Kanefsky is an award-winning film director and editor. He has received much acclaim on many documentary projects such as Just Crazy About Horses, Distant Harmony: Pavarotti’s Visit to China , Frankl’s Choice, Academy Award nominee Adam Clayton Powell, Emmy Award-winning Zubin Mehta & The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, U.S.S. Indianapolis: Tragedy At Sea, Love Those Trains, Polar Bear Alert, Rage Over Trees, Avenue of the Just, Tall Ships: High Sea Adventurer and Child’s Christmas In Wales.
About Robert Cenedella
Robert Cenedella is a master of pictorial satire and fantasy, justly celebrated for his paintings revealing all aspects of big- city life. As part of New York’s art community for over four decades, he paints everything and everybody from cameo likenesses of celebrities to those of the common man. His pictures of subways, symphonies, sports arenas, street scenes and drinking establishments are quintessentially New York.