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Our chronicle of David Hammons’ art and times – created through the participation of eminent artists, curators, gallerists and collectors and a diverse team of creatives – is a portrait of one of the country’s most important living artists. In a 60-year career foregrounding critical societal issues, Hammons’ feat has been to emerge atop the art world without forsaking his defiantly insurgent, category-defying practice. During the nine years in the making of this film, we came to understand that what we had taken on was the invitation at the core of Hammons’ practice – an invitation in the words of one leading art critic “to scrutinize the fissures and fault lines between races.” The opportunity to engage with the shape-shifting enigma that is Hammons’ art was made possible through the unique access to the art world of the prominent art journalist Judd Tully (for two decades Editor-at-Large of Art + Auction magazine) who serves as co-director and producer.
Judd’s journalism and art criticism has appeared in Flash Art, ARTnews, the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The Art Newspaper, as well as his blog, juddtully.net. His ties to this community and participants in the film reach back to the ’70s when he formed personal and professional relationships through a federally sponsored arts program with such artists as Dawoud Bey, Ellsworth Ausby, Avel De Knight, Norman Pritchard and Vincent Smith.