Bryan Saunders is an artist and performer who has completed a self-portrait every day since 1995. He now has a collection of over 10,000 unique portraits, each of which capture the state of his mind on that particular day. In Art of Darkness, director David Parker takes a look at some of these portraits while speaking to Saunders about his thoughts on them.
This film is not only very enlightening; it is also a visual adventure, as the viewer transitions from one portrait to the next. Saunders offers a different explanation for each of his portraits, and it shows an impressive memory as well as an artistic passion.
One of the most interesting parts of this film is one during which Saunders details his experience with various narcotics over the course of 11 days. On each of these days, he takes a different perception-altering drug and creates a portrait under the influence. The results are inevitably fascinating.
Parker provides the viewer with insight into the mind of this unique artist and his life through his artwork, and the resulting film is an aesthetically enlightening one.
Is Art of Darkness essential festival viewing?
Absolutely; it is unique, visually appealing, and interesting. Saunders’ thoughts are easy to follow and his portraits are a pleasure to view.