HBO recently aired a great documentary series called Masterclass (2010).  The 9-part series shows a group of young art students with a “master” artist who shares their knowledge of their craft and life with the students.  I caught up on the entire series last month thru HBO OnDemand.  Each 30-minute episode offers great artistic insights and inspiration, covering film, architecture, dance, music, painting, photography, writing, etc. The great thing about the world of art is that regardless of the medium, the lessons to be learned apply to any artist.  I was initially drawn to the Frank Gehry episode, since I’ve been an architect and admire Gehry’s work. But every episode was great.  I learned about some master artists that I really didn’t know about or appreciate before this series. However, for the Gehry episode, I wish they had selected students that were actual architecture students instead of other artists.  For most of the other episodes, the students matched the interests of the artist, at least to some degree.  But I feel that the students in Gehry’s episode, while interested in architecture, didn’t have the passion for it.  So the episode fell a little flat in that way to me.  But Gehry was at his best, imparting wonderful design knowledge.  If you haven’t seen Sketches Of Frank Gehry (2005), director Sydney Pollack’s masterpiece documentary about the famous architect, check it out along with Masterclass.  It’s one of the best movies about architecture I’ve ever seen.  Along with My Architect (2003), a stunning and emotional film about Louis Kahn, made by his son Nathaniel to honor and understand his father.  Louis Kahn is simply one of the greatest Architects of the 20th century.  As evidenced by my photos from his Salk Institute buildings in La Jolla, California.

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About Brad Swenson

Appreciating and contributing to the art and craft of movies, television, videos, and photography is my daily mission in life. My canvas for expression is emotion. I'm driven to discover and share interesting stories about people, their actions, their thoughts, their feelings, their work, and their contributions to the web of life.

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