AN ARTIST'S EYES
A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
An Artist's Eyes, directed by Jack Bond, follows the journey of the brilliant young British painter, Chris Moon, as he navigates the perilous art world and a demanding, often excruciating, relationship with his work.
The film opens in Kings Cross, London, where Moon, an expressionist painter meets existentialist surfer, has turned a disused factory into his studio, filled to the brim with paintings and an assortment of classic cars (most in pieces) - his other love, aside from painting and surfing.
We go straight into a scene of Moon attacking a large, blank canvas with dramatic brushstrokes, to the accompaniment of a haunting song by singer/ songwriter Gabriel Bruce, ‘Hold Me Close Holy Ghost’. Thus we are given the first dose of Moon's absolute dedication to the tumultuous relationship he has with his paintings - and one that he persistently honours. At a sell out show in Fizrovia, an opinionated London art crowd reacts to Moon’s work. More studio time reveals his inner anarchy and the struggle he often faces with his craft - a stream of consciousness laid bare - before the camera drops us in New York where Moon begins work on a solo show.
A sufferer from anxiety, Moon admits that it was difficult at first to adapt - especially in the height of a New York icy winter, with little electricity and a leaky roof in yet another disused warehouse, but a venue which would play host to his next sell out show. Moon prepares the space with a radical lighting concept and heavyweight sound equipment.
In a conversation between Liam West, Moon’s long-term art dealer, and Art Forum publisher, Knight Landesman, they discuss Moon’s work and the likelihood of worldwide success. All is going to plan until Mick Rock, music photographer to the stars, explodes on the scene, his mission – to photograph Moon. He plays on Moon's shyness and rocks n rolls with his camera all over Moon's disconcerted nature. Moon is subjected to a barrage of insults, abuse, and sexual innuendo, all done with great humour. Great fun for the audience but we’re never quite sure what Moon makes of it.
The journey continues to Andalucía, Southern Spain where Moon and a photographer pal, Ian Morrison, road trip around rain and sun-drenched earthy landscapes that have inspired artists for centuries. A more light hearted Moon here, the painter's motif of swimming pools comes full circle as we see him sketch in an empty pool, a lone figure in a blue mass of space.
The film ends on a dangerously steep mountain drive set on a backdrop of Spanish landscapes bleeding with sunshine, as Moon exclaims 'Last drive this, let's make it a good one.” Driving fast into the blinding sunlight, Chris remarks, “An artist’s eyes - can cut right through it”. As the sun blinds him even further, he laughs, “famous last words, off a cliff next!”