For this showcase of NZ visual arts talent, critic Mark Amery selects his top documentaries profiling artists. From the icons (Hotere, McCahon, Lye ) to the unheralded (Edith Collier) to Takis the Greek, each portrait shines light on the person behind the proverbial canvas.

Amery introduces the collection of Kiwi artists as framed onscreen, in a fine background piece detailing his curatorial choices. During which he states:

“Occasionally I hear off-the-cuff comment that visual art doesn’t make for good film or television. Nonsense! I’m sure they once said the same about sport. Sport like art succeeds onscreen because of strong storytelling, commentary, camerawork and personality.”

“Such comment can further be knocked on the head by directing naysayers to the following stellar documentaries. Artists not only do interesting things with the material around us, they lead interesting lives. Naturally inquisitive, with an open wonder about the world, they make for inspiring onscreen company.”

Watch here!

Hopefully Amery will continue this series, perhaps featuring contemporary NZ artists for those of us in the US with little access. Or even better– a series on NZ video, rather than documentaries.