Love and Art (2006)
Still from film
'It is love; it is Art, Marc Lafia’s film, ‘Love and Art’ an essay
by Daniel Coffeen
There are at least two threads that run through Marc Lafia’s
film, ‘Love and Art’. On the one hand, there's a love story, a
sensual, sentimental tale of two lovers. On the other hand,
there's the world of art: artists, openings, museums, seeing
and being seen.
These two threads ‘love and art’ are absolutely distinct and
simultaneously one and the same thing. Both are forces that
act upon us just as we act upon them: we don't quite choose
to love just as we don't quite choose to make art. And yet to
say that we do not choose is not right, either. Love and art
happen. They are forces that take us up but that don't
exceed us per se: we become their equal. The lover becomes
love, is love; the artist becomes art, is art.
And both birth˜and are birthed by˜a supreme generosity. It
is a generosity that this film not only captures but performs.
For this film is itself supremely generous. It never seeks to
reduce the world of love or the world of art; it is never
didactic. And even when letting academics speak, it is never
academic. Rather, it indulges its world˜love, art, and the
The two threads of love and art find themselves taken up by
an eye that sees multiply, that allows both love and art to go
as they go, in all of their texture, ambience, play,
ambiguity, pleasure. This film makes us privy to the clamor
of gallery voices, the not-so-subtle scent of cheese meeting
not-too-expensive wine, the pitter patter of museum shoes,
the intent looks of befuddlement, interest and boredom, the
whispers of tongues, the grace of a metered caress, the drive
to live well.
This is the rare film about art that is itself art. The camera
here does not just capture the world; it makes the world by
letting it happen in all of its teeming multiplicity. Just as the
lover becomes love, and the artist becomes art, this film is not
really about either love or art. It is love; it is art.