Directed by Angélica Allende Brisk (USA, 2010, 57 min.). Digital.
Painter Hyman Bloom is one of the forefathers of abstract art in America. His career flourished in the 1940s and ’50s, garnering the highest praise in both art and popular press. His intense beliefs about composition and masterful command of color were breathtaking and are admired by artists to this day. But Bloom’s decision to continue exploring figurative work when the art world was moving towards total abstraction, along with his habitual disdain for the public eye, brought him from being one of the infamous "Bad Boys from Boston" to a man little known in the mainstream art scene. Weaving interviews, archival photos, and never before seen sketchbooks from the 1930s to the present, this film chronicles an artist blessed with longevity and creativity who continued to work hard at his craft even as he approached his 95th birthday.
Born in Brunaviski, Latvia, Bloom grew up in an orthodox Jewish family in the West End of Boston—a neighborhood since vanished. The film highlights a body of work that is a vibrant manifestation of Bloom's imagination and his dedication to envision what others didn't dare. He painted rabbis and Christmas trees, cadavers and autopsies, séances and the astral plane, the woods of Maine and the shimmer of opalescent pottery. Told with humor and irony, Bloom's story is not a bitter one. It is a triumph of art and of the spirit.