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What ART BASTARD shows, in stunning cinematic detail, are the living, breathing, storytelling canvases that Cenedella has created for six decades. Set to a rollicking soundtrack, the film not only tours Cendella’s life, it also tours his eye-poppingly intricate, New York-centered paintings as one might travel the city – peering into every corner to uncover Cenedella’s characters, commentary and emotions. The result is a visceral art documentary that also has the sweeping impact of a feature film –at once an investigation of a man’s identity, an inquiry into what art is and who it’s for and a feisty portrait of the ups and downs of a life lived on one’s own terms.
All his life, Robert Cenedella has never quite fit in. He was an outsider at home, where he discovered, at six years old, that he was illegitimate. School was a nightmare, so he dropped out of high school. Later, when he found his calling — painting — the art world didn’t exactly open its doors to ...