BAR HARBOR — “Curious Worlds: The Art and Imagination of David Beck” will be screened at the Thomas S. Gates Jr. Community Center on COA’s Eden Street Campus on Monday, Aug. 10, at 5 p.m.
Critically acclaimed but virtually unknown to the wider world, artist David Beck has spent a lifetime producing incredibly intricate, highly original, fanciful sculptures. Beck has evolved from his early years as a starving artist in 1970s New York to become a darling of the critical world, with collectors running to snap up his work, but to the wider public he remains largely unheard of.
“Curious Worlds,” by filmmaker Olympia Stone, may change all that. The movie offers an intimate portrait of Beck and his compelling work. Created over five years, it offers a fascinating window into the life of what Stone calls “the most accomplished American artist you’ve never heard of.”
The daughter of famed New York collector and gallery owner Allan Stone, Olympia Stone spent her childhood surrounded by frenetic abstract expressionist paintings, moody African tribal pieces and funky folk art works. But perhaps no one artist captured her imagination like David Beck, she said.
“I really grew up being completely fascinated with his artwork as a kid. He is the first artist I remember being completely struck by and inspired by,” Stone said. “I’ve always loved his work, and I’ve never lost that feeling.”
As a filmmaker who focuses on artists, Stone said that she is intrigued by obsession and the artistic process. And few artists are perhaps as obsessive, as detail oriented and as singular in focus as Beck.
“I’m really fascinated by people that are obsessed, and most of the artists, in fact every single artist I’ve ever met, is to some extent obsessed with what they do, and I think sort of discovering that, to me, following it, is very interesting,” Stone said.
“In a way, this film with David, he is somebody I wanted to have maybe more exposure than he’s had. For how amazing he is, I think more people should know about him,” Stone said. “I’m hoping that through the film I can help introduce more people to his work.”
After the film, Stone and Beck will answer questions. A catered cocktail reception in the Newlin Gardens will follow. The event is free and open to the public.