Jack Sargeant’s video introduction to the Belgian Premiere of LOVE at OFFoff art cinema Oct. 20, 2014

“Larry Wessel always takes his camera to places that commonly people don’t go to. Seeing him take his camera to the studio/home of Beth Love, that will be fascinating because he takes you into her work, he takes you into her pictures. Now she’s an artist whose work I first saw in the late 90′s and i was absolutely blown away by the power of it. And to see it like this, it’s just wonderful. Enjoy!”

- Jack Sargeant, Introduction to Belgian Premiere of LOVE at OFFoff art cinema, Gent, Belgium October 20, 2014

OFFoff art cinema sign

Sign in front of OFFoff art cinema
Photograph by Johan Seghers

OFFoff Screen 1

OFFoff art cinema’s Günter Hilderson introducing LOVE. Photograph by Johan Seghers

ABOUT page on website


Larry Wessel’s Love

Los Angeles based filmmaker Larry Wessel has been making his own unique low-budget documentaries since the early nineties. Shot on video, his works commonly focus on unusual or less often explored areas of popular culture, covering topics such as Mexican bullfighting (Taurobolium), observations and anecdotes on 1950s outsider culture as told by artist Robert Williams (Carny Talk) and the creative history of industrial musician and prankster Boyd Rice (Iconoclast). Wessel’s latest work – Love – sees him turn his camera onto the paintings of American artist Beth Moore-Love. Her naturalistic paintings depict a strange, slightly skewed America in which protagonists, commonly young girls, sit next to burning cities, or burning rural homesteads, or grasp decapitated heads on the blood splattered decks of pirate ships, or are cast adrift alone on oceanic ice flows, or attend lynchings. Love’s work is deeply embedded in an updated, post-surreal version of the American gothic. Love’s work is not without controversy, and this film details a minor scandal following a group exhibition in Berlin.

Asked about his approach to making Love, Wessel recalls that he “started out by shooting many hours of footage of Beth Moore-Love and her mentor Dale Caudill talking with each other about every one of her paintings that she created between 1993-2006.” These in depth conversations explore her painting techniques, her visual style and her development as an artist, examining her creative processes and the decisions that informed them. The film was then constructed over a lengthy editing process, “It was like putting together the pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle” states Wessel, “except not knowing what the final picture would look like. The big story revealed itself only during the final stages of editing.”

Laced throughout the interviews are images of her vivid, colourful paintings. These are brought to life through meticulously detailed close-ups, the camera tracking over the works, focusing on specific elements and pulling out aspects of the paintings to emphasize the ways in which they were created and the stories that they tell.

Wessel, whose previous works commonly embraced a more directly cinéma vérité style of filmmaking, explains the change in style as a direct response to Love’s detailed painting style, “I found that her paintings all have this alluring quality of pulling the viewer closer and closer. They also have a peculiar realism that one encounters in dreams, especially in nightmares. I wanted Love to have these same qualities. Of course digital panning, scanning and zooming into the details of her paintings was necessary. Sound effects, music and animation were also extremely important in helping me achieve the goal of making my Love story as alluring as her paintings.”

Love is a unique dialogue between an artist and mentor, as they discuss and trace the artist’s development, Wessel’s ability to sit and shoot, as his subjects open-up for him, enables the audience to witness these conversations.

- Jack Sargeant, FilmInk

Beth gazing at Cabazon Peak

OFFoff art cinema presents The Belgian Premiere of LOVE Gent, Belgium October 20, 2014

OFFoff art cinema presents The Belgian Premiere of LOVE Gent, Belgium October 20 2014

After ICONOCLAST, Larry Wessel’s four hour documentary on Boyd Rice, OFFoff exhibits the Belgian Premiere of Larry Wessel’s LOVE. In his typical exuberant style Wessel goes in search of the soul of the artist Beth Moore-Love. Her grotesque, colorful paintings show a dysfunctional universe of joyful cruelty and perverse little girls. As always, humor and transgression in Wessel’s eccentric films go hand in hand.

Introduced by Jack Sargeant via video message.




Review by Billy Chainsaw



Ugly and beautiful in equal measures

An artist whose work features shit, dismemberment and feral creatures is perfect for the pages of Bizarre, so join us as we step to the disturbing, wonderfully weird world of Beth Moore-Love.

This documentary profile of the left-field American artist plays like a surgical dissection of her paintings, while providing a compelling perspective on her life.

Rather than bombarding viewers with talking heads, director Larry Wessel focuses on Moore-Love as she paints, while discussing her work with mentor Bo Caudill. And while this might sound dull on paper, on screen it provides a fascinating insight into what makes Moore-Love tick, throwing up explanations as to why she paints such shocking subjects. It’s rare to see such a personal examination of an artist and their creative process, and to feel as though you’ve been allowed access to their most private thoughts and inspirations; and while the pace is slow and the structure is stark, this perfectly reflects the meticulous nature of Moore-Love’s intricate outpourings.

So face the strange and get down with the ugly/beautiful art of Beth Moore-Love – but don’t be surprised if it gives you nightmares.

- Billy Chainsaw, Bizarre Magazine

ABOUT page on website


Amazing Love

May 29, 2014 by mesikammen


The first time I heard of Beth Moore-Love and her paintings was while reading about Anton LaVey many, many years ago. The man adored Moore-Love’s paintings.

Intrigued, I did some research in the internet. What I found was something unique and haunting. No wonder the bald man loved that stuff. To my surprise there was not that much information about the artist in the net though.

Years passed. When I heard that a new documentary by Larry Wessel was about Beth Moore-Love  last year, I was more than delighted. That was something I definitely wanted to see.

Wessel put nine years into the making of the film. The documentary, that runs for 1 hour and 51 minutes, was filmed in New Mexico, Berlin and Los Angeles between 2005 and 2013. Like previous films by Wessel,  this one also is a gem.

We hear the story of Moore-Love from interviews with her and from many persons close to her. We hear stories behind many of her very detailed paintings that are at the same time beautiful and gruesome.

The movie is fascinating from the beginning till the end. It gives a unique view about a unique artist and her work. Wessel has done a great service for all of us by telling us a story about an artist that is oddly not more widely known.

Larry Wessel has once again picked up a great subject for a film and given it a great treatment. This is a masterpiece that everyone with a taste for the beautiful, the gruesome, the thought provoking and the wickedly funny should see. Highly recommended!

Larry Wessel’s Love is amazing.

8. First Communion 1996 by Beth Moore-Love

5. Our Mother of Compassion 2003 by Beth Moore-Love

2. Southern Comfort 1995 by Beth Moore-Love

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Love the movie, the official webpage (Order your copy of the movie from here!)

Love the movie in Facebook.

Love the movie, the official trailer.

Love – the art of Beth Moore-Love.

ABOUT page on website


Long have I been aware of her work. I met her on one occasion when she came down to the CIA . I was and have always been very impressed with her work which retains the vintage classic beauty of the Victorian era infused with the manic and  horrific blasts of reality and carnage.

Larry Wessel has achieved something few have in documenting not only her work but more intriguingly the process of her work. Like stepping into an actual living painting we float like spirits along the tops of the New Mexico mesas and plateaus and come to (rest?) on the very crux of her ball of seething and yet very historical and biting wit.

An amazing glimpse into the genius of a torn soul who seeks to rip the pretty rose tinted glasses off the eyes of the world and shove stinking bloody reality in their face with a splash of a delicious sense of humor. Truly one of the great underground artists of our time being captured by one of the best underground documentarians of our time.

- Carl Crew/ California Institute of Abnormalarts

A Film by Larry Wessel