Larry Rivers (1972)
In free-ranging conversations as he works in his studio, Rivers oppositional nature and independent mind are apparent. He reflects on his past painting and its critical reception, and speculates on his place in art history. Like his art, Larry Rivers is the opposite of self-contained. Alive, gregarious, fraught with feeling, he has always been drawn to poetry and to jazz. His own saxophone playing appears to be an extension of the expressive and experimental character found in his paintings, drawings, constructions, and video works. Rivers is shown at work in his New York studio. He examines a series of his Dutch Masters paintings, inspired by the standard cigar-box image which recalls Rembrandt, as well as several of his iconoclastic portraits. Among these are his naked renditions of the late poet and critic Frank O'Hara and the bold double images of his former mother-in-law, Berdie. He died in 2002.