Directed by P. David Berez, David Wright • Documentary • 2019 • 60 minutes
Best known for his captivating realist paintings, artist Alan Magee also creates works that delve into the darkest aspects of human nature. His arresting images which comment on corporate greed, on cruelty and gun violence, and on civilian and military victims of war seem at odds with his serene paintings of nature and found objects, but through his distinctive visual language and interconnected themes, Magee suggests that these dual realms are inseparably interwoven.
Alan Magee: art is not a solace explores the artist’s subjects, locales, and the historical sources which have sustained his work for five decades. Through his paintings, sculpture, monotypes, music and short films, Magee asks viewers to consider the breadth of human behavior and experience.
Shot on location from Pemaquid Point, Maine to the streets of Berlin, the film examines the ways in which art can address the great challenges we face as a society. It features long-time friends and collaborators, including writer Barry Lopez, Berlin-based cellist Frank Dodge, labor-union director and historian Harris Gruman, Curator/Director of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art Suzette McAvoy, and artist Robert Shetterly, creator of the Americans Who Tell the Truth project.