For more than three years, contemporary art filmmakers Wet Heat Project captured creative and career turning points in the rise of enterprising, determined, and often irreverent young artist Bert Rodriguez as he ventured beyond his hometown borders to penetrate an international art market. The result is a lively feature film about a unique and ambitious personality, and also about the elaborate, transforming world of conceptual art in which he's progressively making his mark.
Whether he's cooking a traditional Cuban meal with his mother at art galleries around the world, or manning a seamless white therapy cube isolation booth to personally counsel visitors at the Whitney Biennial, or conducting a futures-market scheme wherein his dealer pre-sells artwork yet to be conceived, Rodriguez' next work usually surprises himself as much as his viewers.
Appearing in this film with commentary about Rodriguez and about experiencing the conceptual art world are artist Marina Abramovic, artist Vito Acconci, artist Maria José Arjona, Snitzer Gallery Co- Director Richard Arregui, Deputy Chairman of Christie's Americas Amy Cappellazzo, C-Monster.net, Wall Street Journal art reporter Kelly Crow, New York Times reporter Susan Dominus, Whitney Biennial Curatorial Coordinator Stacey Goergen, artist Aramis Gutierrez, Bert's high school art teacher Marion Hanks and New World School of the Arts teacher Susan Banks, ARTnews Contributing Editor and Yale School of Art Senior Critic Steven Henry Madoff, clinical psychiatrist Dr. Scot McAfee, artist Manny Prieres, collector Andrew Reed, Art Production Fund Co-Founders Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal, Bert's mom Reneida Rodriguez, New York Magazine Senior Art Critic Jerry Saltz, collectors Michael & Lisa Schweitzer, collector Nancy Seltzer, gallerist Fred Snitzer, and a selection of "therapy cube patients" from Rodriguez' Whitney Biennial installation / performance "In the Beginning..."
Left: Miami International Film Festival Director Jaie LaPlante, film director Bill Bilowit, artist Bert Rodriguez
Bottom Right: Miami International Film Festival premiere night at Miami's iconic Tower Theatre on Calle Ocho
Top Right: Film producer Grela Orihuela with artist Marina Abramovic, Core Club screening in New York
Screenings of "making sh*t up" began with the hometown premiere at the 2011 Miami International Film Festival to a sold-out house. In May of 2011 the film was shown as part of a curated screening series at the prestigious Core Club in New York City and at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. The film's west coast public premiere was November 16, 2011 at the new West Hollywood Public Library, presented by the Los Angeles Art Association and its Director Peter Mays; that same week a members-only screening was held at the Soho House West Hollywood.
New scenes are in production chronicling the artist's move to Los Angeles, with assertive new ventures and distinct, enthusiastic supporters. In 2014 "making sh*t up" will be fitted with a genuine Hollywood ending.
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