When you see the name Jake Auerbach as producer on any Dvd you know exactly what your getting. Whether it's a biographical Dvd on his father Frank, Kitaj or Freud you will know more of the world of the subject than you did before.
In short, it does what it says on the tin.
Unfussy, unpretentious, un-everything.
Nothing fancy, nothing fussy, nothing gets in the way. How many other docus on artists can say the same? Usually, you get those pretentious BBC-up-it's own-whatever-with-its-own self-importance-type-thingys (Brian Sewell, Andrew Graham-Dixon, anyone) where you get to know more about the ego of the presenter than the subject itself. I mean, is there anyone outside of medialand who actually doesn't think the The Culture Show shouldn't be put on trial for crimes against art? How clever the presenters look; how forgotten the art.
To The Studio is the total opposite. Here, we are afforded a glimpse into the world of Auerbach and you can't look away. Auerbach is truly a man-possessed when it comes to his art. He was born to paint: nothing must get in the way. This is from the opening shots when he is walking in the streets of Mornington Crescent, eyes focussed, shoulders hunched, not wanting to engage with anyone, in a hurry to get back to the studio ... nobody or nothing will get in the way.
Jake and the director Hannah Rothschild put flesh onto the bones by letting various sitters tell their stories. Through them we get to know how the great man works, and how their various lives have been touched by knowing him is truly emotional. Years pass, but their love of the painter remains.
Seeing Auerbach talk on camera about his work is worth the price of the Dvd alone. I would say he is quite a shy man and doesn't really enjoy talking about his work but here you really sense that he must gain his strength from the power in his work. And so many Auerbach paintings on one Dvd - well he is really spoiling us.
In years to come this Dvd will be held up as the way Art Dvds should be made. Even those in medialand will use it to educate the sons and daughters of medialand on how to make art programmes.
© Paul Page, Lenin Imports - 2008
This film offers an exclusive invitation to the secret world of the legendary Frank Auerbach. The painter rarely leaves his studio: he works 365 days a year, from sun-up to sun-down in a furious race against time. There is not a minute to waste
His main links with the outside world are the models who've sat for him for between ten and forty-two years. They are from diverse backgrounds: acting, academia, filmmaking and business. They talk with insight about being painted and about the man behind the canvas
Auerbach is filmed in his studio, sketching in the National Gallery and around Camden Town, talking about his sitters, his routine, his compulsions, strange rituals. his ambitions and his hereos
"Utterly fascinating" Daily Telegraph
"Good, unself-indulgent, ungimmicky" Financial Times