What makes a place inspire an artist and an artist inspire a place? The new documentary series “Inspired” investigates the intricate relationships between artists and places. Featuring the experiences of names like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Donald Judd, Keith Haring, Georgia O’Keeffe and others, the series shows how these artists were profoundly touched by locations that they visited and/or moved to – and also how they ended up influencing that place through their work. Each episode is dedicated to one artist and a specific location that has inspired his/her work in a specific moment in their career.
Shot in countries as diverse as Japan, Morocco, Iceland, France, India and the United States, the series features stunning imagery and a survey of eight preeminent artists in their field. Created by Award-winning directors Guto Barra and Tatiana Issa.
Episode 1: Donald Judd + Marfa. One of the most significant artists of the twentieth century, Donald Judd enjoyed a successful career in New York in the 1970’s when he decided to move to an empty and dilapidated town in a remote area of West Texas, a three hour drive from the nearest airport. His art and architectural works turned Marfa and the region into one of the art world’s most important destinations.
Episode 2: Tadao Ando + Naoshima. As one of the world’s most respected architects, Tadao Ando has defied many stereotypes in the field. After making a name for himself with a variety of projects, Ando was invited by the Benesse foundation to design a contemporary arts center on the island of Naoshima, Japan. His radical vision for a series of museums built since the 1990’s helped transform the remote island into one of the world’s leading arts destinations.
Episode 3: Georgia O’Keeffe + New Mexico. Georgia O’Keeffe was the most important American painter in the 1940’s, when she decided to move to New Mexico and radically change the themes in her work. The stunning desert landscapes changed the way she painted – and inspired her for the next 50 years.
Episode 4: Keith Haring + Brazil. During a brief but intense career that spanned the 1980s, Keith Haring spent most of his time traveling and working in dozens of cities around the world. It was in a remote fishing village on the coast of Brazil that he found a much-needed change of pace for his jet-setting life. There he would spend his days creating murals at Kenny Scharf’s house, painting fisherman shacks along the beach and making drawings inspired by the local landscape and people.
Episode 5: Yves Saint Laurent + Marrakech. Yves Saint Laurent had become the biggest star of French fashion in the sixties, when he opened his own haute couture house after a three year stint at Christian Dior. He and his partner Pierre Bergé were vacationing in Morocco when they both fell in love with the country’s culture and people. They immediately purchased a house in Marrakesh, where Saint Laurent said he “discovered the magic of color.”
Episode 6: Ragnar Kjartansson + Iceland. As one of the most important names from the Icelandic arts scene, Ragnar Kjartansson achieved international success with his performances, video installations and paintings. Kjartansson caught the attention of critics and international art fans during the 2009 Venice Biennale, in Italy, when he spent five months at a palazzo at the Grand Canal, creating one painting every day, always portraying the same character. The episode explore his connection to Icelandic culture and history.
Episode 7: Pina Bausch + New York. At the young age of 19, German dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch was awarded with a scholarship at Juilliard, in New York City. This formative period, where she worked as a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera and collaborated with names like Paul Taylor and Paul Sanasardo, resonated throughout her whole life. It was in another visit to the U.S. in the seventies that she met some of her most loyal collaborators.
Episode 8: Henri Cartier-Bresson + India. In January 1948, a few months after co-founding the photo agency Magnum Photos, Cartier-Bresson traveled to Delhi to meet with the great leader Mahatma Gandhi. It would be one of Gandhi’s final meetings before the leader’s assassination. The resulting photos of Gandhi’s last day of life and the events surrounding his funeral helped catapult Cartier-Bresson to international fame. The country’s culture and people inspired the photographer to go back six more times over the next few decades. What he captured in India are among some of his most inspiring works.