Movies and TV shows about art are some of our favourite things to watch, especially now that we’re in quarantine. And because we’re such nice people, we’ve decided to let you in it, too! Here’s a list of the 10 best art movies and TV shows that you can binge online right now.
1. Little Fires Everywhere (Drama, 1 season)
2. Abstract (Documentary, 2 seasons)
It’s honestly amazing to watch artists in their element, doing their best work and getting the recognition they deserve. That’s what Netflix’s Abstract is all about. Across 2 seasons and 14 episodes, the show features one incredible artist every episode, exploring their creative process, their style of working, and the tools they use. From illustration, architecture and graphic design, to more niche areas like footwear design and stage design, the artists of Abstract run the whole gamut of the creative spectrum. Among art movies and TV shows, this one stands out as a celebration of the craft itself. You don’t normally think of documentaries as ‘binge-able’, but take our word for, this one definitely is. Find Abstract for streaming now on Netflix.
3. Big Eyes (Biopic, 1h 46min)
Tim Burton’s uplifting biopic follows the life of Margaret Keane, the renowned portrait artist, and her battle for recognition for her artworks. When she marries Walter Keane, she comes to the shocking realisation that he’s been claiming her artworks as his own, selling them under his name. After years of painting in anonymity and watching her work become some of the most popular and commercially successful paintings of the time, she finally decides to seek the justice of the law. In a climactic paint-off with her husband before the court, she proves herself the true creator of those paintings and finally becomes recognised for the brilliant artist she is. For Keane, it was never about the money; all she ever wanted was for the people who saw her art to know it was she who made them. Big Eyes is available for streaming on Netflix.
4. The 100 Years Show (Documentary, 40 mins)
Premiering in 2015, The 100 Years Show is a short documentary film that celebrating the 100th birthday of Carmen Herrera, one of the oldest artists who’s still working today. The film explores the career of the Cuban artist, starting from when she began pioneering abstract art in the 1940s and 50s. It even explores her background in architecture which informed her minimalist aesthetic. For most of her life, Herrera’s work went unrecognised because of the prejudices against Cuban women in 20th century America. It wasn’t until 2004 that her art was finally recognised by an art collector and brought her mainstream popularity and fame. The 100 Years Show can be streamed for free on their website.
5. Raiders of the Lost Art (Documentary, 2 seasons)
6. Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery (Documentary, 1h 42min)
This 2014 documentary film follows the story of Wolfgang Beltracchi, a German art forger who pulled off hundreds of forgeries over the span of 40 years. Responsible for perhaps the biggest art forgery scandal in the postwar era, the documentary explores the other, more sinister side to the world of art. You can find Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery on Netflix.
7. Saving Banksy (Documentary, 1h 20min)
The story of the world-famous street artist, the artworks he created around San Francisco, and what happened to them. When officials tried to erase Banksy’s works by forcing the property owners paint it over, Brain Greif, an art collector, decided to buy one of them and donate it to a museum. The documentary describes the chaotic drama that ensued. Negotiations with the property owner and offers flooding in from people trying to buy the artwork turned the situation into a media nightmare. It’s a fascinating deep dive into the world of illegal street art and the ravenous market for these contentious pieces. You can watch Saving Banksy on Amazon.