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November 13, 2014

Love (2014)

If there is a common thread that ties together all the work of Satanic documentarian Larry Wessel (TauroboliumUltramegalopolis) aside from his pathological voyeurism and seeming love of the medium of video, it is his obsession with the artist, most specifically the subversive and much maligned artist on the fringes of society. Indeed, from the aberrant carny anecdotes of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth protégé Robert ‘The King of Lowbrow Art’ Williams in Carny Talk (1995) to the life story of noise pioneer and (in)famous ‘occult fascist’ Boyd Rice of NON in the epic three-part documentary Iconoclast (2010), Wessel has demonstrated that he wants to know every detail about an artist and their influences, no matter how random and irrelevant, and in my humble opinion, that is one of his greatest merits as a filmmaker as a sort of satanist Jean Rouch. With his latest debauched doc Love (2014), Wessel takes his most literal approach to documenting an artist and their work, as it is a conspicuously candid doc where a somewhat marginal yet nonetheless semi-successful cult painter describes the origin and influences of all her major paintings while oftentimes in the company of a mentor. Of course, considering the artist, New Mexico-based painter Beth Moore-Love, has done paintings of southern belles masturbating to the sickening sight of naked lynched negroes, daughters ganging up on and raping their elderly fathers, a blonde preteen angel reading ‘outsider artist’ Henry Darger’s 15, 145-page work In the Realms of the Unreal to a pale little Aryan boy corpse that suffered a grotesque gunshot wound to the face in bed, an Elizabeth Taylor-esque little girl holding a platter with a bald bearded fellow’s decapitated head while a naked woman is being tortured by three gringo amigos in the background, a farm mother savagely slaughtering her own infant daughter and subsequently slitting her own throat, and a sadistically cynical work featuring the frozen corpses of the ill-fated British Captain Sir Franklin’s lost Arctic expedition to the last unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage, Ms. Moore-Love is not exactly a pedantic or even pleasant subject, but no one would dare say she is uninteresting. Despite being a petite and rather thin woman that likes wearing vintage Shirley Temple-esque dresses, Moore-Love is certainly no lady, at least not in any conventional sense, as demonstrated by her glaring seething hatred for modesty and humility, daintiness, old school white patriarchy, pre-Civil Rights era American history, and colonialism in a variety of ‘idiosyncratic’ fashions throughout the documentary. Of course, as a chick with a Vietnam War veteran for a father who likes shooting assault rifles and bow and arrows in dresses and seems to have an innate aversion to political correctness, even if her sentiments are more or less of the ostensibly humanistic left, the painter is not some putridly pompous feminist or art school trust fund dyke and thus her art seems totally genuine and not the product of pathetic pretense and repugnant postmodern artistic trends. Technically, it is not the first time that Moore-Love, who was once not surprisingly associated with Boyd Rice and Brian M. Clark’s avant-garde UNPOP art movement, is collaborating with auteur Wessel, as he used her black-and-white 1995 painting “Starlet” of Elizabeth ‘The Black Dahlia’ Short standing in front of her dismembered corpse as the poster art for his Hollywood Babylon-inspired documentary Sex, Death & The Hollywood Mystique (1999). Shot on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Berlin, Germany, and Los Angeles over an 8-year period spanning from 2005 to 2013, Wessel’s long in the making love letter to Love ultimately more than demonstrates what the eponymous subject meant when she proudly declared that, “My ‘artwork’ has always been very cynical and ANGRY,” as a delightfully debasing doc that does many things but thankfully it does not make any attempts to separate the seemingly aberrant artist from her undeniably aberrant art.
Born in 1964 in Des Moines, Iowa to a Vietnam War army recruiter named Tom Moore who oftentimes saw the young men that he helped to recruit come home in body bags, Beth Moore-Love certainly seems to have death on the brain and I would not be surprised if it is at least partially rooted in the wartime experiences of her father, who she initially did not recognize as a little girl when he came back from the war. Feeling bad that he allowed his little girl to be married away at the mere age of 19, Papa Moore took up an offer from artist Dale Caudill aka ‘Bo’ to properly train his daughter to “hone her skills” and develop an admirable body of work so long as the old man footed the bill for a year. Despite describing her as the “laziest woman I had ever met” (in fact, the painter even states of herself, “I’ve always been lazy”), Bo managed to whip his seemingly plain Jane protege, who previously was commissioned to do banal amateurish paintings of horses and cats, into shape and helped her establish a respectable oeuvre largely revolving around ‘neo-American Gothic’ paintings featuring dead and/or mutilated children and the dismembered corpses of adults that, aesthetically and thematically speaking, seem to fall somewhere in between the work of Midwestern painter Grant Wood, American lowbrow pop surrealist Joe Coleman, controversial American artist Stud Mead (who is a personal friend of the artist), ‘Naïve painter’ and writer Henry Darger, and obscure controversial kraut painter Herbert Smagon. For example, her early painting “Dwarf Toss” features a dark apocalyptic landscape featuring a naked legless girl in the foreground ‘fingering’ the bloody gore around the area where her leg was ripped off while two wolves collectively devour said leg and buildings burn in the background. Using pictures of vintage mannequins as the main influence for the discernibly loony little girl subjects of these paintings, Moore-Love managed to create a foreboding body of work that makes it seem like that she is haunted by a perennial state of lost childhood, as if something horrendous happened to her as a little girl that she just cannot exorcise from her seemingly forsaken soul. For her self-portrait, which was used as the poster art of Love, she painted an image of herself on a rat-infested pirate ship (the artist claims she has pirate ancestry) as a half-topless figurehead with angel wings that is being pointed at by a crazed prepubescent child carrying a decapitated head while her assumed mother’s corpse is being torn to shreds by a vulture in the background.
Unquestionably, Moore-Love’s greatest artistic obsession seems to be figuratively shitting on America and the colonial white world’s past (it should be noted that feces does appear in much of her work), which probably takes its most mean-spirited, nightmarish, and iconoclastic form in her painting “Southern Comfort”, which features a group of southern belles, including one with her dress hiked up and masturbating, standing around the dangling unclad corpse of a lynched negro and which the artist described as follows: “This was the nightmare of Southern manhood that their wives were in to it, you know, in the middle of the night furiously masturbating thinking about black cock. This is one of my favorite paintings that I have ever done,” thus demonstrating the painter’s seeming innate hatred and resentment towards white men.  Her painting “The Franklin Expedition”, which was inspired by the doomed 1845 voyage of British Captain Sir John Franklin and 138 officers, depicts the frozen corpse of a British officer who Moore-Love only has the utmost contempt for as demonstrated by her remark, “They were far too arrogant to imagine that maybe there were people already living in that region that could help them […] they were never found again, except by Eskimos, but that didn’t count.” Of course, a little research proves that most of the British officers probably died from other causes like starvation (there is evidence that the men actually resorted to cannibalism), lead poisoning and diseases including scurvy, tuberculosis, and pneumonia than from hypothermia. Unquestionably, one of the artist’s most revealing paintings is from 1996 and entitled “A Closer Walk”, which features an apocalyptic farm landscape showing a mother, who has just butchered her infant, committing suicide by slitting her own throat while the family home burns down in the background. In regard to her influences for “A Closer Walk” and what it means to her, Moore-Love remarks, “…After I read the WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP, I just realized there was a lot of that stuff going on at that time and at that place…and it doesn’t surprise me, being, you know, I wouldn’t have liked to be a woman living in that era. Some of the paintings seemed nostalgic but I’m not nostalgic at all for the old days, unless we’re talking about, you know, the stone age when things were probably a little bit simpler.”   As one would suspect, Moore-Love has no children.
 For “immigration reasons” and the “possibility of living in Europe and America”, Moore-Love, who had already divorced her first husband (though, not unlike Tina Turner, she opted to keep the catchy surname), married Berlin-based experimental musician, artist, and writer Ghazi Barakat of Boy From Brazil in 1997 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Barakat paid tribute to his then-wife in his essay “The Late Great Aesthetic Taboos”, which was featured in the 2000 book Apocalypse Culture 2, which was edited and published by director Wessel’s comrade Adam Parfrey via his publishing company Feral House. In the essay, Barakat wrote, “The work of [UNPOP Artist] Beth Love of New Mexico expands on an “innocent” Victorian aesthetic by integrating sick-minded contemporary horror beneath her primary subjects, and within the background. The stowing away of such dread renders the id-forms all the more astonishing.” Naturally, while living in Berlin, Moore-Love found new influences as demonstrated by her painting “A View of The Hinterhoff”, a rare commissioned work (the artist typically refuses to do commissioned art), which depicts the Teutonic metropolis as a “very insectoid” Kafka-esque post-industrial rat maze where the sun never shines. While in Berlin, Moore-Love also contributed work to an art exhibit called “When Love Turns To Poison” that also included works by artists like Stu Mead, Mathias Seidel, Skip Hunter & Ella Verparajugs, Thomas Hauser, and Frank Gaard that caused a huge scandal in Germany where the artists were “accused of peddling kiddy porn.” Rather humorously, a large and morbidly obese Christian extremist showed up at the exhibit and began destroying the art. Moore-Love also goes on to describe how she was elated that an Aryan woman called a painting she did of a naked prepubescent girl in a forest “rubbish” in a German newspaper, stating that for her, it “was the equivalent of an Academy Award because every artist worth their salt in the history of art has had people call their work rubbish or worse.”
 While I find some of her work interesting and even aesthetically pleasing, Beth Moore-Love is certainly not an artist I like, but I suspect that her ultimate goal is not to be liked as indicated by her ‘artist’s statement’: “I read a quote once, I don’t remember who said it, something about the purpose of art being to soothe the spirit after a hard day of ‘reality’. What does that mean? I once saw a two-page advertisement for some stupid car, on one side of the fold-out was a photo of Monument Valley, morphing into the skyline of Manhattan. On the other page, over Monument Valley was written, ‘The Dream’, over Manhattan was written, “The Reality”. And I saw right away that this was completely backwards. So my purpose as an artist is to soothe these people who turn our world upside-down for profit? These people who feel spiritually bereft after a hard day of raping and pillaging? Fuck that. I will NOT. I’m going to sneak it on the wall, and slap the shit out of them with the truth of it. Is there ugliness and horror in my work? Absolutely. Do you think that my work is distasteful? You are correct!” Indeed, Moore-Love is certainly someone who finds a perverse sense of pulchritude in things including her own cat as a dead roast for a feast, infanticide, apocalyptic catastrophe, prepubescent female nudity, white heterosexual male misery, feces and scatological scenarios involving cute little girls, anti-maternal gestures like women breastfeeding poisonous Gila monsters and mothers and daughters savagely butchering one another (it should be no surprise that she has described her paintings as her “children”), so no one could call her a hack, even if they wanted to. One thing that Moore-Love certainly makes clear during the documentary, even if she does not say it outright, is that she uses her art as a sort of therapy, with her work “Cloacina Russula” being made to get out of a long depression and her work “Our Mother of Compassion” created out of anger and rage. Moore-Love once stated, “I paint for a society that’s dysfunctional. I don’t paint to make things better for people; I paint a mirror of this society,” but as I watched Wessel’s doc, I came to the natural conclusion that the art is more of a product of her own dysfunction than a mirror of society, which I think can be said of any decent and authentic artist. Arguably, most importantly, I respect that Moore-Love has a sense of humor regarding her work, even stating in the doc, “I think a lot of these paintings are funny.” I know I certainly had a smirk on my face while seeing a number of them, especially her “self portrait.”
 Arguably Big Larry’s most intimate and professional documentary to date and certainly his most polished and evenly paced, Love reveals Wessel to be a man with a deep respect and almost childlike enthusiasm for the artist, which is quite rare for artist-based documentaries of any sort, which typically resemble insufferably banal virtual tours of art galleries or hokey and/pedantic hagiographies. Indeed, featuring shockingly breathtaking aerial shots of the deserts, mesas, mountains of New Mexico and shot on two different continents, the doc certainly demonstrates that Big Larry has come a long way since the days when he went by the name ‘Laurence Von Wessel’ and shot and assistant directed campy kitsch pieces for ‘outsider auteur’ and aesthetic terrorist extraordinaire John Aes-Nihil like the Tennessee Williams adaptation The Drift (1989) starring the crippled tranny Goddess Bunny (who would become the central subject of his 1995 L.A. drag queen doc Sugar & Spice) on consumer grade camcorders. While not Wessel’s longest and most ‘epic’ work to date, Love is certainly his most immaculate and revealing work, which largely has to with the subject Moore-Love who, unlike say Boyd Rice of Iconoclast, is fairly self-deprecating, honest to a fault (much like her art), and does not attempt to hide behind a bloated and puffery-plagued persona. For better or worse, Moore-Love’s art does offer a window into the modern world that seems like it might shatter at any moment, but so does the artist who I could imagine would be the next Lorena Bobbitt or Gesche Gottfried were she not a painter and did not have a serious therapeutic outlet for her pain and hatred.

– Ty E, Soiled Sinema

October 11, 2014

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

August 4, 2014

“This movie needs to be seen in art classes all over the world!”
– Tanner Toobach, Unboxed Watched and Reviewed

July 10, 2014

I just finished watching LOVE. I thought it was incredible.
The way you dissected each painting, lingered on all of the details and added the artist’s commentary really immersed me in the works featured! I loved it.

– Logan McKinney

July 9, 2014

LOVE IS DVD OF THE MONTH IN THE JUNE, 2014 ISSUE OF BIZARRE MAGAZINE!!

Review by Billy Chainsaw

LOVE DVD REVIEW BILLY CHAINSAW

LOVE

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

June 18, 2014

Once again, I’d like to give props to this film about a brilliant New Mexico artist which was shown to me by the filmmaker when I was back home in SoCal. This engrossing, disturbing, funny, and delightfully surprising film would make a great gift to yourself or to your favorite transgressive friend.

– Markus Jeffries

Order Your LOVE DVD Here!

THE LOVE DVD

MAY 29, 2014

Amazing Love

May 29, 2014 by mesikammen

LOVE

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

– – –

Related:

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.

May 28, 2014

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

April 8, 2014

Larry Wessel’s documentary feature film,  Love , is a profile of artist Beth Moore-Love. Instead of a routine and obvious biography, the film explores Moore-Love’s various paintings as she, often with the assistance of her painting mentor Dale Caudill, explains her inspirations and the ideas contained within them. In this way, the biography still comes through, only framed by the subject matter of the art, giving a unique perspective on the artist’s personal history.

And if her story doesn’t interest you, perhaps the art itself will. Populated with dismemberment, shit, small children, wild animals and strange historical context, her artwork often delivers on shock, though conversation reveals that the grotesque has a purpose. Sure, some elements just fit, but everything ties into the idea that she’s hoping to get across (which varies by painting), and are surprisingly often based on actual events or forgotten stories.

It’s rare that any artist, outside of perhaps a filmmaker commentary track, sits down and goes through their work explaining why they did what they did. And in that regard, this film is comprehensive in its dissection of Beth Moore-Love’s artwork, as she details what stories inspired her to create, what other bits of art or ephemera served as a springboard for her transformative ideas. If you’re curious about any of her artwork, this is the place for the straight skinny on all of it.

Of course, the plus and minus of that is, while it is a rare gift to peek behind the artistic curtain, sometimes you just don’t want to know, or the actual explanation doesn’t quite live up to the one inside your head. The latter is the risk many an artist try to mitigate with vague answers or outright refusals to discuss their inspiration or thought-process. I personally like both takes; sometimes the mystery is better, and sometimes it’s fascinating regardless. In this case, it’s fascinating.

That said, I think the edit of this film is a little too bloated for my tastes. I get the idea of wanting to let things breathe, lest you be stuck with the less interesting structure of ticking off the boxes in the stroll through Moore-Love’s paintings that almost would feel like the documentary equivalent of a website “listicle.” At the same time, some aspects of this broadening of the pace were too much for me. For example, in the opening, we get about three minutes or so of scenic footage of New Mexico. I get setting the context and stage, but it was excessive. This coupled with the almost two hour run time and… this could be much tighter. I understand why that might not be something the filmmaker wants to do, but it would’ve been my preference that the film was tightened up some more.

Then again, it speaks to the goal of the film, right? If it’s me, and I want to introduce folks to the artist and her work in the most entertaining, far-reaching fashion possible, I choose a few of her best paintings (however that distinction could be made) and I make a tight edit that would be less challenging to the short attention span set. If the goal is to comprehensively catalog her career up to this point, then this film’s structure and pace makes much more sense. If this were a film in wide release, I’d see this as the extended director’s cut, with a much shorter, still fascinating, cut possible.

And that’s about where I fall with the film. I did not know Beth Moore-Love’s artwork prior to seeing this film, and I relished the opportunity to get inside the head of the artist to hear the stories behind so many strange, often disturbing, paintings. I found much to embrace and enjoy about the film. At the same time, it felt too long for me, mainly due to aspects I saw as padding (such as the scenic shots). Still, as far as comprehensive profiles of an artist and their work goes, I can’t imagine this film left too much out, and if you’re already a fan of Beth Moore-Love’s paintings, or are looking for something uniquely grotesque and powerful, then Love delivers.

– Mark Bell,
Film Threat

See Mark Bell’s Review of Love in Film Threat here!

March 30, 2014

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:
http://www.lovethemovie.org/

Beth Moore-Love:
http://www.bethmoorelove.blogspot.com/
http://www.illuseum.com/ill17/BethMooreLove.htm

March 23, 2014

Legendary artist William Scott, abstract painter from Northern Ireland, (and college roommate of Dylan Thomas) said “Every Picture Tells A Story”. “LOVE”, a new film by Larry Wessel, tells the passionate story of the art of a national treasure, the American painter Beth Moore-Love. It takes a deep focus view of her complex and intricately rendered paintings, so open and personal in presentation and theme that it feels like a swim through a river of paint streaming directly from her brain.

The film serves as a doorway into the elaborate conception and creation of her art. Beth addresses the camera, describing her life’s work painting by painting, sharing how they developed. Wessel takes his camera and transports his viewers far into each painting, including overlapping subsequent revisions, to bring the process of Beth Moore-Love’s brush technique beautifully to life onscreen.

In “LOVE”, there are no less than three sides to each story. The rich narrative, characters and background elements of each painting itself, the often dark and equally often hilarious stories of Beth Moore-Love (a natural storyteller on camera, with the coolest, most colorful wardrobe changes in a profession that rarely rises above denim), and the careful, disciplined reveals of cinematic storytelling by director Wessel. Frequently, Love’s friends and collaborators also pitch in to add detail, until the direct and truthful, often harrowing, but always transporting stories of each painting are complete.

“LOVE” is an artistic film worth owning, a film that will LOVE you back!

– Kent Adamson

MARCH 8, 2014

DEEP INTO MOVIE AND ART MAGIC: A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST BETH MOORE-LOV

BMatt Dukes Jordan

Larry Wessel’s feature-length documentary called LOVE takes viewers into a fascinating and strange realm of the unreal (the hyper-real?) — realm of Beth Moore-Love’s art. Both Moore-Love and Wesselknow that there’s something spooky and nasty about American history and culture and they have reflected that in their respective mediums.

 LOVE A Film by Larry Wessel poster

LOVE A Film by Larry Wessel poster

While America’s founder’s Enlightenment-based idealism offered a vision of a new and wonderful kind of nation, there is a shadowy side to it all, starting with stealing the country from the locals with brutal swindles and military campaigns. For pure creepiness one can consider the Salem witch trials, the cannibalism at Donner Pass, the madness and mayhem reported in the book called Wisconsin Death Trip (one source of inspiration for Moore-Love’s art), and, well, there’s the grandfather of all nutty grave-robbing serial killers and the man who provided a lead character for many films includingPsychoTexas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs — that crazy kooky cannibal, fashion freak, and Wisconsin native, Ed Gein. Far more destructive than the above horrors is the fact that the U.S. never hesitates to use military force, even for nothing more than to ensure cheap banana prices at the expense of the local farmers, as in the repeated invasions of Honduras. (Note: the U.S. military attacked Honduras in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, 1925 to “protect U.S. interests.”)

6. Heavenly Father Bless Our Daily Pill 2004 by Beth Moore-Love

Heavenly Father Bless Our Daily Pill 2004 by Beth Moore-Love

One could say that Moore-Love’s art is, in part, an expression of the idea, “Nothing risked, nothing Geined.” Moore-Love takes risks in her art and pushes it deep into creepyland Americana with ease and painterly sophistication. Thanks to her ability to combine innocence and gore, she has Geined (sic) a following in the U.S. and Europe. Born in 1964 in Des Moines, Iowa, she was strongly influenced by time spent in San Francisco in the 1980s where she met Boyd Rice, Anton LaVey, and others; plus she helped run the Force-Nordstrom gallery on Market St. there and showed work by Mark Mothersbaugh and Karen Finley, and more. A meeting with Joel Peter-Witkin was important to her artistic development as well.

2. Southern Comfort 1995 by Beth Moore-Love

Southern Comfort 1995 by Beth Moore-Love

Wessel’s film tells the story of her artistic life largely from her point of view in a series of intimate conversations at the kitchen table in her house in Albuquerque. We also see her firing an automatic weapon outdoors, and going for drives in the mysterious, awesome, sometimes spooky landscape of New Mexico.

She offers an engaging and in-depth commentary on each major painting she has created. The film moves chronologically through her career, beginning with her first paintings which were done while she was studying with Albuquerque artist and lifelong artistic mentor and friend, Dale Caudill, aka Bo, who also has a prominent role in the film. A charming hippie rogue of an art teacher and friend, he offers much entertaining commentary along with her fascinating descriptions of what went into each painting.

The film is appreciative, expertly filmed, and has enough of its own surreal touches to create the right mood for learning about Love’s work. Periodically the viewer is teased with lingering shots of New Mexico’s semi-wastelands. They are combined with Lynchian sounds and music to create a menacing, surreal mood. At times, it becomes as if we were inside of Moore-Love’s paintings.

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

Our Mother of Compassion 2003 by Beth Moore-Love

The destruction of human dreams and innocence is a major theme in Moore-Love’s art. Wessel subtly suggests that the Vietnam war and her father’s absence while serving in the military there were an influence on Moore-Love’s sense that there’s an underlying violence and nastiness to American life. Curiously, one of the most striking works of photojournalism to emerge from that war is the photo by Nick Ut of the “napalm girl,” 9-year-old Kim Phuc. She was fleeing the heat of a napalm bombing in a village she lived in. Moore-Love may not have been directly influenced by the image of the terrorized Kim Phuc, but the spirit of that photo and the horror of it suffuse her art.

Moore-Love is well aware of the power of the metaphor of the tormented child in fine art. Wounded waifs have been a staple motif of the lowbrow/pop surrealist art movement that I surveyed in my books WEIRDO DELUXE (2005) and WEIRDO NOIR (2010). San Francisco artist Margaret Keane may have kicked it all off with her big-eyed girl paintings which reflect a kind of wounded innocence following WWII.

The bizarre evils and incongruities of our hierarchical, top-down managed society are the kind of things that fine artists like Moore-Love address. As Moore-Love describes the influences on her work, Wessel provides images of paintings and works she refers to. Wessel has put many hours into putting together a documentary that flows along with seeming effortlessness, but which involved a huge amount of research and work.

This documentary may not be for the squeamish, but it’s well worth watching for an in-depth portrait of a significant American artist who has been addressing big issues in her complex and unique paintings for decades.

~*~

 The full piece originally appeared at FLESHAPOIDFILMS .

MARCH 1, 2014

Larry,

Your movie is a beautiful tribute to Beth, whom I love dearly.  What a joy it is to see and hear Beth, Bo, and Ellen again.  (I’m the “best friend who got stranded near the San Mateo Mountains”). Thanks for your paean to my dear friend.

James Akers

FEBRUARY 28, 2014

A must see for the “rest of the story”

Whether [or not] you like the art of Beth Moore-Love, you will never look at it the same after watching this great documentary on her work. Many documentaries that I have watched on different artists feel scripted and rehearsed. They are often bordering on boring, with nothing really learned about what motivated the artist to create the images they have. Not so with LOVE. I felt my mind expand with a new appreciation and understanding of her talent. Two hours was leaving me wanting more, yet feeling satisfied that I understood her motivation and what she is conveying in her works of art.

I’m constantly curious as to the behind the scenes story of those in the arts, and this documentary gave me that. Informed AND entertained.”

– Maderi from Chicagoland

FEBRUARY 28, 2014

Niklas gets his LOVE

Niklas LOVE DVD

Niklas Cat sends LOVe from Germany

“L♥ VE arrived in the Old World.

Thank you, Sir Wessel. Today is my own personal Valentine´s Day!

I´ll give you a review soon.”

– Niklas Schäpsmeier

FEBRUARY 25, 2014

It’s a solid documentary, Larry! I hope it’s being as well received as it rightly deserves! All the reviews I’ve read are positive and glowing! AWESOME JOB!!!

– Ken Gage

FEBRUARY 24, 2014

Here it is, right in my hands, fresh out of the air-cushioned envelope. Delivered directly from one of America’s finest and most dedicated documentarists, Larry Wessel. He caught my attention when he announced his mammoth project called “Boyd Rice: Iconoclast”, which he released in 2010 as a three-DVD-package, running four (!) hours altogether, leaving not one single question unanswered about the enfant terrible of the international industrial muzak / noise scene, whether it be the ongoing and unnerving accusations towards his said-to-be political / darwinist viewpoints, his (now defunct) friendship with Charlie Manson or the relationship to the late Anton Lavey and his Church of Satan. “Iconoclast” to me is an undisputed monument with loads of information, a necessary example of contemporary filmmaking and an in-depth look at America’s most extreme and controversial counterculture.

As for LOVE, Larry returns with another information-packed documentary, an intimate insight upon another very special artist who unfortunately remains almost unseen and unknown in Europe, although she had lived for several years in Berlin, Germany. Larry’s research had spanned over nine years until he could finish his project and release it on this year’s Valentine’s Day, zero o’clock sharp.
Beth Moore-Love, who I would describe as the female counterpart of Brooklyn-based Joe Coleman, gives the viewer an opportunity to look over the artist’s shoulder, describing every single aspect of meaning behind her overwhelming and intriguing paintings. And we’re talking about tiny square inches here. There are so many countless details in her pictures that the use of a magnifying lense should be advised. Miss Moore-Love’s understanding of art is just what our society in which we live is in great need of, and I’m not kidding. Like the aforementioned Joe Coleman, Beth’s works depict the ugliness, the violence and madness of our lives by using some of the most trusted motifs most of us may know from our earliest days of childhood. Some of her paintings resemble vintage greeting cards for religious holidays or childrens’ birthdays. If there weren’t these gruesome and shocking, yet fascinating details of total human degeneration. Her art is of a transgressive nature which knows neither taboos nor boundaries. Thank you Larry for your excellent work, and all the best for your future!

Get in contact with Mr. Wessel via www.lovethemovie.org
The region code free DVD will be delivered internationally at reasonable shipping rates. Remember that this is an independent production which was made possible through crowd-funding and the true LOVE and heartwarmth of the filmmaker, Miss Moore-Love and the crew behind the whole thing.”

– Odez Oaxiac

FEBRUARY 24, 2014

Giving Larry Some Love

I did a small photography job for Larry Wessel’s newest documentary Love.
For my work, Larry sent me a copy, and, after viewing, was so thrilled with his documentary film, I had to write up a review over at IMDB.
I thought I’d share my words here as well, hoping to inspire a few to check it out.

I wrote:
“Beth Moore-Love is, to me, a rather unappreciated artist. Her work is spectacular; blazing in color, and containing a fascinatingly morbid tone. Most are unfamiliar with her paintings, so imagine the work of a less threatening Joe Coleman, with the sense of humor and style of Salvador Dali. Many of her paintings are vivid, yet personal, recreations of quite a number of grim moments in history, with a tad of added surrealism.
Admittedly, with a run time of 112 minutes, I didn’t know what to expect, and how it could be so lengthy. As I watched, it became extremely clear, and not only do I now understand, but was pretty captivated the entire time.
While going into her history, as she personally goes through her past, she deconstructs quite a number of her works. Explaining what she used as muse and reference, as well as why. Seeing that her paintings are highly detailed, there is a lot of zooming into her work so as to vividly see the intricacies of her style and struggle. Her efforts pay off, as do Wessel’s.
Additional anecdotes are provided by a handful who are (were) part of Moore-Love’s life, including Dale Caudill, Murrugun the Mystic and Stu Mead. Their recollections are often a hoot, as well as informative on the creation of the art, and even art scene of the 90s through today.
I gave it 10 stars, as it was informative, and enlightening, but mostly because it was a really fun watch.
.”

– Adel Souto

Giving Larry Some Love

FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Smart documentary on a talented artist. But then you simply can’t go wrong watching any of Larry’s documentaries!

– Ken Gage

FEBRUARY 22, 2014

assoc prod greg V

This month Larry Wessel’s documentary on Beth Moore Love was released. Wessel was nice enough to allow me to be a small part of that film — a gesture for which I remain grateful. Beth Moore Love is an obscure New Mexico artist who has made a career out of a genre which can only be described as western gothic realism. I saw one of her pieces years ago, and immediately wished there were more details about her work and the motivations behind it, available for the hoi polloi. Like many great artists, Love has been accused of being a pornographer, though her work is more disturbing than lurid. Her work effectively mirrors the dissonance of modern life, unconcealing tensions which are usually constellated in the unconscious of everyman, forcing the viewer out of the dream state and confronting him with the unpleasantness which lies within and without himself.

– Gregory VanWagenen, Associate Producer of LOVE

The Arts and Everything Else

FEBRUARY 18, 2014

Larry Wessel worked on this beautiful documentary on Beth Moore-Love for years. I just got the DVD in my mailbox today and watched it immediately. Beth is a very wonderful & inspiring woman & friend and I recommend that everybody look at this film.You will enjoy it :)

– Danielle De Picciotto

FEBRUARY 16, 2014

**LOVE** got a big 10 from me and that was easy to give cause it was a great movie!!! I really enjoyed watching it. You did a great job.

– Donna Smith

FEBRUARY 14, 2014

The movie was fantastic, Larry. I was entranced by her work when I saw the trailer, and the movie sealed the deal. Wonderful movie and a wonderful artist. Both highly recommended. Can’t wait to pick up a copy myself!

– Jarad Coats

FEBRUARY 14, 2014

With LOVE, Wessel Dives Deep into
Movie and Art Magic: A Portrait
of the Artist Beth Moore-Love

Larry Wessel’s feature-length documentary called LOVE takes viewers into a fascinating and strange realm of the unreal (or, perhaps, the hyper-real) — the realm of Beth Moore-Love’s art. Both Moore-Love and Wessel know that there’s something spooky and nasty about American history and culture and they have reflected that in their respective mediums. While America’s founder’s Enlightment-based idealism offered a vision of a new and wonderful kind of nation, there’s a dark side to it all, starting with stealing the country from the locals with brutal swindles and military campaigns. For pure creepiness one can consider the Salem witch trials, the cannibalism at Donner Pass, the madness and mayhem reported in the book called Wisconsin Death Trip (one source of inspiration for Moore-Love’s art), and, well, there’s the grandfather of all nutty grave-robbing serial killers and the man who provided a lead character for many films including Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs — that crazy kooky cannibal, fashion freak, and Wisconsin native, Ed Gein. Far more destructive than the above horrors is the fact that the U.S. never hesitates to use military force, even for nothing more than to ensure cheap banana prices at the expense of the local farmers, as in the repeated invasions of Honduras. (Note: the U.S. military attacked Honduras in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, 1925 to “protect U.S. interests.”)

One could say that Moore-Love’s art is, in part, an expression of the idea, “Nothing risked, nothing Geined.” Moore-Love takes risks in her art and pushes it deep into creepyland Americana with ease and painterly sophistication. Thanks to her ability to combine innocence (she often depicts female children, drawing on Victorian-era pop-culture images) and gore, she has Geined a following in the U.S. and Europe. Born in 1964 in Des Moines, Iowa, she was strongly influenced by time spent in San Francisco in the 1980s where she met Boyd Rice, Anton LaVey, and others; plus she helped run the Force-Nordstrom gallery on Market St. there and showed work by Mark Mothersbaugh and Karen Finley, and more. A meeting with Joel Peter-Witkin was important to her artistic development as well.

Wessel’s film tells the story of her artistic life largely from her point of view in a series of intimate conversations at the kitchen table in her house in Albuquerque. We also see her firing an automatic weapon outdoors (perhaps an homage to William Burroughs), and going for drives in the mysterious, awesome, sometimes spooky landscape of New Mexico.

She offers much engaging and in-depth commentary on each major painting she has created. The film moves chronologically through her career, beginning with her first paintings which were done while she was studying with Albuquerque artist and lifelong artistic mentor and friend, Dale Caudill, aka Bo, who also has a prominent role in the film. He’s a charming hippie rogue of an art teacher and friend and offers much entertaining commentary along with her fascinating descriptions of what went into each painting.

The film is expertly filmed, appreciative, and has enough of its own surreal touches to create the right mood for learning about Love’s work. Periodically the viewer is teased with lingering shots of New Mexico semi-wastelands combined with David Lynchian sounds and music create a slightly menacing, surreal mood. I liked that aspect of the documentary. It became at times like Moore’s paintings.

There are also interviews with artists in Berlin, where Moore-Love lived for a time and participated in an infamous group show that briefly became the talk of the town via front-page tabloid newspaper articles (which boosted sales of the newspapers). The sensationalistic articles accused the artists of making and showing obscene art because some of it depicted nude children as part of works of art, something that, if you believe the reports in the mass media, is one of the great horrors of the 20th century along with WWII, Nazi death camps, and Hiroshima. My take on the late-20th and 21st-century hysteria about the exploitation of children is that it’s a metaphor for widespread exploitation of all people. Pretty much everyone knows on some level (conscious or unconscious) that they are exploited by a heartless system (governmental and economic/corporate), however they are relatively powerless to do anything about it — just as children are relatively powerless. Thus in the media and the culture, children stand in for a widespread exploitation — they are a metaphor for adults who feel basically good and innocent but know they’re exploited. Not that most people know this on a conscious level. But artists know this too. Wounded waifs have been a staple motif of the lowbrow/ pop surrealist art movement that I surveyed in my books WEIRDO DELUXE (2005) and WEIRDO NOIR (2010). San Francisco artist Margaret Keane may have kicked it all off with her big-eyed girl paintings which I feel reflect a kind of wounded innocence following WWII. Certainly Mark Ryden (whose paintings sell for upwards of one million dollars each, but that’s another story) is working in that tradition, as is Moore-Love.

The destruction of human dreams and innocence is a major theme in Moore-Love’s art. Wessel subtly suggests that the Vietnam war and her father’s absence while serving in the military there were an influence on Moore-Love’s sense that there’s an underlying violence and nastiness to American life. Curiously, one of the most striking works of photojournalism to emerge from that war is the photo by Nick Ut of the “napalm girl,” 9-year-old Kim Phuc. She was fleeing the heat of a napalm bombing in a village she lived in. Moore-Love may not have been directly influenced by the image of the terrorized Kim Phuc, but the spirit of that photo and the horror of it suffuse her art.

The bizarre evils and incongruities of our hierarchal, top-down managed society are the kind of things that fine artists like Moore-Love address. As Moore-Love describes the influences on her work, Wessel provides images of paintings and works she refers to. Wessel has put many hours into putting together a documentary that flows along with seeming effortlessness, but which involved a huge amount of research and work.

This documentary may not be for the squeamish, but it’s well worth watching for an in-depth portrait of a significant American artist who has been addressing big issues in her complex, amazing paintings for decades.

FLESHAPOIDFILMS

– Matt Dukes Jordan

FEBRUARY 14, 201

Hey Larry,

Your love documentary is amazing, not only have you made your best work in my opinion, and documented such an amazing artist and her work, you have also made in some ways a science fiction film. I have to say you are the greatest documentor of the apocalypse.  It leads me to believe you have had a past life in Atlantis, you saw the destruction and now your processing it all through your films. You have nailed the LOVE film, again, so real yet so much like a science fiction film. Larry Wessel and Beth Moore Love, click. Good job!

– Samuel Fielder

FEBRUARY 13, 2014

ryan watching love drawing

TV Love, a portrait of Ryan watching Larry Wessel’s film LOVE (2014)
by Jared Coats

FEBRUARY 13, 2014

This movie is too awesome to describe. Truth. It has a completely different feel than ICONOCLAST, but is just as tight.See Larry’s LOVE. It’s important: historically, aesthetically, culturally. 5 stars. 2 thumbs up. 100 percent pure cinema.

– Gregory Vanwagenen

FEBRUARY 13, 2014

Congrats Larry…..Love is awesome….we love it. Great you released this documentary about this really special artist and my soulmate Beth. Steve loved it too….he picked up the DVD and watched it twice. You did great! Hugs and Love.

– Suzanne Hussman

FEBRUARY 11, 2014

Dearest Larry I want you to know that I saw LOVE last night.  It is truly a fascinating and layered portrait of a very unique artist, who as you so well demonstrate, deserves to be known by more than a cult following. I myself learned a lot about Beth’s paintings… Beth looks beautiful in it, and she comes off as sensitive, political, and with an elaborate sense of humor. I am very proud to be a part of your wonderful film. Loved the music ( Swan Lake  Dub spoke legions and Dr. LaVey would’ve approved), Ellen & Tom’s interviews… the German section was fascinating. It’s really a marvelous accomplishment Larry. You should be very proud!

– Nilz Fullerton

FEBRUARY 10, 2014

Thank you kindly Larry! I truly enjoyed learning more about Beth! Very well handled!

– Mark McCloud, Institute of Illegal Images

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

This movie may just change your life. I love LOVE. I am still picking the pieces of my mind up off the floor. This is real. Unflinchingly honest portrayal of the artwork of Beth More-Love, my new favorite artist. I love LOVE. Trust me, You’ll love LOVE too.I watched it twice Larry. It was that good.

I’m really impressed with how this came out.
Excellent excellent movie. I’m truly awestruck.
The soundtrack was haunting, the cinematography was flawless. It’s has a haunting quality that penetrates the soul.
The music and presentation truly does the art justice. I’m really loving LOVE.
It’s really really great. I had to watch it twice.

This movie is a masterpiece. I am so overwhelmed with how much I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t an artsy clinical analysis it was blood and guts. Down in it and excitingly unique. Honest and unflinching. I couldn’t ask for more. I love LOVE.

If you want to see a movie that may change your very life see Larry Wessel’s LOVE. It defies explanation. It just needs to be seen. No, experienced. My mind was blown to bits by this masterpiece by a true genius of the moving picture Mr. Larry Wessel. CHECK IT OUT!

– Sean T. Silence

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

LOVE was excellent.  When I like a documentary, I usually watch it more than once, or in this case three times so far.  As for films about art, for me this is up there with Emile de Antonio’s PAINTERS PAINTING.

I was not familiar with Beth Moore-Love’s work prior to seeing your movie but was definitely amazed by it.  She came off as a very interesting person and I really enjoyed how additional bits of her story and personality were revealed with each new painting examined.  At the risk of sounding trite and no pun intended, a real portrait of her had developed by the end of the film. Your use of sounds and animation with the paintings was effective.  Other documentaries might have employed such techniques to the point of distraction, but here they only complimented.

More than anything else, I kept going over in my mind how well the whole piece was put together.  I enjoyed the entire two hours, but the opening six or so minutes, the sort of prelude or overture, was just exciting to watch.  I can’t help but imagine you being jazzed while editing it together.  Just an awesome display of composition from the gun shooting to the “Swan Lake Dub” and the bow and arrows .  I re-watched it over and over.  I also thought the ending section was perfect.

I feel hesitant saying this is your best work.  I still haven’t seen three of your films, plus I don’t want to risk knocking SEX, DEATH AND THE HOLLYWOOD MYSTIQUE or TATTOO DELUXE (two of my favorites) in the process.  Also, I don’t wish to suggest that you have “improved” as a film maker.  However, there definitely seems to be an evolution or progression of style going on in comparison to your earlier works.  For me, this parallels my reaction to Love’s art in the sense that while I definitely liked her earlier paintings quite a bit, when it got to OUR MOTHER OF COMPASSION and HEAVENLY FATHER, BLESS OUR DAILY PILL, my reaction was simply – whoa!   I had the exact same response to this film.
Despite my negligible participation, I am still quite proud my name is in the credits.  I can’t help but feel that if this film gets the access to the audience that it needs, both Love’s art and your work will be the focus of even wider attention for years to come.  It seems inevitable and will definitely be well deserved.

– Best regards/Jacob W. Fleming

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

Got yer DVD. LOVED IT!!! it’s your best one yet!!!! LOVED THE ART, LOVED LOVE!!!!!
Larry’s best film yet!!!!! See it!!!!

– John Trubee

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

Adel Souto with LOVE

A little something came in the mail for all my hard work.
Thanks, Larry!

– Adel Souto

FEBRUARY 5, 2014

Murrugun's copy

I am totally in LOVE with LOVE It’s so f****** good !!!!
I’ve watched it twice now already it’s brilliant !!!! Congratulations Larry Wessel!!!!

– Murrugun The Mystic

FEBRUARY 5, 2014

Between juggle-reading Moby Dick and Drucker’s Post-Capitalist Society and watching Art Is Art and my DVR-ed monster movies, I managed to find time to pop a new DVD arrival into the player today. It was an advance copy of filmmaker and friend Larry Wessel’s newest creation — LOVE.

Let me give you a quick surmise of this 2-hour documentary: Love is a film of exuberant vitality, surveying the life and works of a rarely-seen, world-class artist during her major period. In her own words and irreverent spirit, Beth Moore-Love gives us a painting by painting narrative of her provocative and often disturbing visions, revealing the unknown secrets behind each otherworldly masterpiece.

Once again Larry Wessel has brought fire to his lens, showcasing a subject that might seem obscure or underground and then making it instantly accessible and understood — and proving that the subject is indeed worthy of every exploratory effort.

Art collectors, students, fans of the extreme — you can’t go wrong in bringing Love into your life. Highly recommendable!
And this DVD is available worldwide on Valentine’s Day:http://www.lovethemovie.org/

– Ken Gage, Host of Shockwaves and Shrunken Heads

FEBRUARY 4, 2014

Just received my copy of this wonderful documentary this morning! Thank you to Larry Wessel for exposing me to this amazing artist and making this brilliant film. I have just finished watching the dvd, my head is reeling but i am now in LOVE!

– Jason Hendry

FEBRUARY 3, 2014

YOU
MOTHER
F***KING
GENIUS
“LOVE” IS PERFECT
OMG!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
I just watched it 2 times in a row.
BRILLIANT!!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the LOVE!!!!! You NAILED IT!!!!!
IT IS MAGNIFICENT. You brought a glorious thing to the world….and I THANK YOU!! Your gentle care with Miss Love means a lot to me!! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!! This will be the best Valentine’s Day opening since SILENCE OF THE LAMBS!!!!! AWESOME!!! BRAVO!!!! Really Larry, I love Beth SO BAD, So BIG, and SO COMPLETELY, you did it with LOVE and sweet care…big THANKS and big LOVE Sir!!! Well done!!! It’s gorgeous!!!!
IT’S SO FREAKING GOOD!!!
You have exposed a magnificent secret….and it is exquisite!!!
Damn good job brother!!!

– Michael Flowers, Set decorator, “Breaking Bad”

FEBRUARY 3, 2014

Just watched: LOVE

A documentary of the life and art of Beth Moore-Love, examining her process, elements of her paintings, and a bit of her biography.

It won’t be officially released until Valentine’s Day, but I got an early copy because I helped fund the post-production through Kickstarter. Beth Love’s art is some of my very favorite of living artists, and I really appreciated the look into her thinking and the insight into the context. The filmmaker, Larry Wessel, chooses to remain largely in the background of the film, his name only coming up once or twice and his voice and image never. Instead, Ms. Moore-Love and her paintings are front and center, as well as a number of people who help illuminate the works and woman under focus. There’s a lovely part where several people including the artist discuss an exhibition in Berlin that was highly controversial. The various people talk about the overblown tabloid coverage and discuss what actually happened. In the end, we seem to come close to an understanding of the artist as a person, but no closer than we might expect from a two-hour film. More importantly, though, we definitely come to a deeper understanding of her works, and that is, perhaps, the more important thing. Recommended for those who appreciate modern surrealism in traditional painting.

– C. Lee Vermeers

A Film by Larry Wessel