Only a few years ago the names of street and grafitti artists were unknown to most people. If you weren’t part of a subsect of insiders, enthusiasts and participants, a tag was just a tag and wheatpasting wasn’t even in the lexicon.
Now guys like Shepard Fairey and Banksy are famous for their work, street art idioms show up in corporate branding, and you can find entire catalogues of t-shirts emblazoned with graphics influenced by the form. And while there have been a few documentaries about grafitti and street art, there’s always room for one more.
Beautiful Losers follows a select group of artists chosen to be representative of several regions, cities and art styles. Harmony Korine, Mike Mills, Stephen Powers, Thomas Campbell, Margaret Kilgallen, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Ed Templeton, Geoff McFetridge, Chris Johanson and Barry McGee are represented in the doc, which tries to take the very broad movement as one that’s still kicking and expanding, rather than looking at it as a scene that passed.
The trailer, which is streaming on the film’s website, shows off some of the fantastic art on display in the doc. (The site also has info on each profiled artist.) Beautiful Losers played SXSW last month and will be hitting art houses this summer.