PAIN IS THE NAME
OF THE GAME
by Charlie Finch
He’s drunk, he’s high, he’s mournful, he’s masochistic and he makes great art. It could be a lot of painters throughout art history and now, according to HBO, which is premiering director Jeff Stimmel’s 63-minute-long documentary The Art of Failure
, it’s Chuck Connelly. What this film unintentionally reveals is that, contrary to cliché, Connelly is not an oil-based genius because he is psychotically living through constant pain; he is in pain precisely because making arresting images in paint is so easy for him. When Chuck is out of the studio, everything else is difficult.