Make Me Famous

A touching look at the halcyon period in New York history, before the last shabby corners of Manhattan were gentrified beyond all recognition.


Make Me Famous

Edward Brezinski worked alongside Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, and Jean-Michel Basquiat in the Lower East Side art scene, but never reached the same level of success as his contemporaries. Make Me Famous uncovers why such a well-connected yet peculiar painter never made it, despite being so maniacally focused in his quest for fame. What begins as an investigation into Brezinski’s legacy and mysterious disappearance becomes a sharp, witty portrait of NYC’s 1980s downtown art scene. Gallery owners and fellow artists dish on insider gossip, name drop, and contradict each other in telling the story, resulting in an irresistible snapshot of an unknown artist that captures the spirit of an iconic era.

Make Me Famous is a documentary that uses the life of an almost-legend – sneered at by some contemporaries, admired by others – as a springboard for a dive into a period in New York’s cultural history when “starving artists” reset the creative bar. Reflecting the New Wave mentality, then playing out in music, they created a community in studios in the city’s then-derelict Lower East Side. With little more than a DIY creative urge and practically no cash, the likes of Julian Schnabel would come home from his restaurant job with broken plates and put them together as a “canvas” for paintings. Brezinski’s home base, the Magic Gallery, was a decrepit apartment on Third Avenue, across from a men’s shelter. Fellow aspiring artists and gallerists created the beginnings of a “scene” that made some rich and famous, and left others behind. Through interviews, archival footage and hundreds of images – much that have never before been seen – MAKE ME FAMOUS examines some of these intangibles through the recollections of some of the NYC Downtown scene’s most colorful figures.

If All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, the recent documentary featuring photographer Nan Goldin, has whetted your appetite for the scuzzy glory days of Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1970s and 80s, then this documentary about Edward Brezinski, another artist kicking around the Bowery at the time, will quench that thirst.”—Leslie Felperin, The Guardian

"A trove of thrilling interviews with survivors of a harrowing period."- The Hollywood Reporter

“A poignant, compelling, and haunting apparition of lost bohemia.” - James Wolcott
Not Rated
Documentary, Art & Artists, New York City, Culture Vulture
Brian Vincent
Edward Brezinski, Duncan Hannah, Peter McGough, James Romberger, Marguerite Van Cook, David McDermott, Eric Bogosian, Richard Hambleton, Marcus Leatherdale, Patti Astor, Kenny Scharf, Annina Nosei, Claudia Summers, Walter Robinson
Lovia Gyarkye, Hollywood Reporter

There’s an amusing story about the late painter Edward Brzezinski that endures even though his legacy hasn’t. It was 1989, and Brzezinski arrived at the Paula Cooper Gallery in SoHo for a show. On display that evening was Robert Gober’s 'Bag of Donuts,' a simple sculpture displaying resin-covered ...

Make Me Famous Get Tickets

There are currently no showtimes for this film. Please check back soon.