Artists and historians have long puzzled over the uncanny paintings of Johannes Vermeer, wondering at their photographic quality. Convinced that there was a technological secret to the seventeenth-century Dutch painter’s technique, Texan non-artist and video entrepreneur Tim Jenison embarked on a six-year odyssey to paint his own Vermeer from scratch. Leading scholars of trickery Penn & Teller were on hand to record the process (the latter is credited as this doc’s director), which included consultations with David Hockney in London; learning how to mix era-appropriate paint in Amsterdam; and re-creating Vermeer’s studio in a garage in San Antonio. Penn & Teller’s unapologetic art doc is mostly engaging and accessible. So it’s surprising that its final act becomes a steadfast document of tedium, dwelling on the 130 days in which Jenison stares into a series of mirrors and applies paint to canvas. Tim’s finished work may resemble the real thing, but ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ never tackles the real question of why the painter remains so elusive and incomparable.
Time Out says
- Release date:Friday 17 January 2014
- Duration:80 mins
Cast and crew