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LOVE – A Film by Larry Wessel

I first came across Larry Wessel and his wildly interesting visions in a featured interview in Panik magazine some years back. Larry is the kind of artist who blasts open the proverbial can of worms with a vaudevillian sense of humor and a Satanic eye for revelation in the details.

”LOVE”, Larry Wessel’s new film documentary about Beth Moore- Love, a contemporary American artist, explores the work and creative history of a brilliant painter whose vision comes on like concentrated hits of storytelling delivered in grotesquery; like vivisections of the id where beauty and innocence lie in close proximity, if not chained in some way, to horror, decay and cruelty.

I’m convinced only Larry Wessel could have told the Beth Moore- Love story as deliberately and with such empathy, skill and subtle precision as he does.

Hatched from the personal scars and societal horrors of the Vietnam war, Beth Moore-Love’s formula came to her in an epiphany one day in 1989. In a conversation with a stranger about American society, the man, a war veteran, said to her, “These people are asleep. They don’t know what reality is. What they need is a string of severed heads strung from post to post over the street. That might wake them up to reality.”

Beth Moore-Love delivers more than a string of severed heads with her painting. She takes us by the hand and walks us into the fractured light of the American soul, somewhere near the center of Eliot’s Wasteland, where Hieronymus Bosch tends his garden and Killer Zero leaves his butchered victims to the carrion birds.

Wessel’s skill as a documentarian begins with his genuine ability to engage his subjects. The interviews in “LOVE” are wonderfully revealing and free of affectation. Each person has their say, offering distinct insights into Moore-Love’s genesis and development as an artist. Wessel wastes not a word, expression, or gesture. His cinematography draws us visually into the weird dimensions of Love’s paintings and turbo-charges the trip with a delightful use of sound and musical score to a near hallucinatory effect.

Get ready to see what can’t be unseen. Leave your comforts and consolations at home, they won’t help you now. The tour bus is heading for the high desert and Larry Wessel is selling tickets to ride.

~CM Roche

Larry Wessel’s “LOVE” Website:

Beth Moore Love: