2020 / documentary / 75min /
directed by Jeffrey Wolf / written by Fred Barron /
country: USA / language: English

* Streaming Now

“If every picture tells a story, the body of work displayed in the hauntingly intriguing documentary “Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts” speaks volumes on the life and times of the artist in question.”
– Michael Rechtstaffen, Los Angeles Times

“This illuminating documentary explores the life of a unique American artist, a man with a remarkable and unlikely biography. Bill Traylor was born into slavery in 1853 on a cotton plantation in rural Alabama. After the Civil War, Traylor continued to farm the land as a sharecropper until the late 1920s. Aging and alone, he moved to Montgomery and worked odd jobs in the thriving segregated black neighborhood. A decade later, in his late 80s, Traylor became homeless and started to draw and paint, both memories from plantation days and scenes of a radically changing urban culture.

Having witnessed profound social and political change during a life spanning slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Great Migration, Traylor devised his own visual language to translate an oral culture into something original, powerful, and culturally rooted. He made well over a thousand drawings and paintings between 1939-1942. This colorful, strikingly modernist work eventually led him to be recognized as one of America’s greatest self-taught artists and the subject of a Smithsonian retrospective.”

(source: Kino Marquee)

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