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acclaimed painters & artists turned filmmakers


about 4 years ago

Hi fellow auteurs,

At the last Rotterdam Film festival I was surprised at the amount of feature films made by artists turned film-makers. Shirin Neshat was an obvious example but also Pipiloti Rist. Sam Taylor-Wood recently made a movie following in the footsteps of British artists Steve Mqueen and Tracey Emin (Top Spot).

I was wondering if this is a new trend or if anybody knows any acclaimed artists/painters turned filmmakers from the past?

I can only think of a few coming from the New York art scene of the 80’s who became directors in the 90’s:
Cindy Sherman made The Office Killer, Robert Longo made Johnny Mnemonic and Julian Schnabel of course. It’s almost as if one artist starts in a certain scene, others follow.

The obvious follow up question is: Is it a succesfull transition? In the case of Longo and Sherman it probably wasn’t.


about 2 years ago

Andy Warhol?


about 2 years ago

Z. Bart

about 2 years ago

Schnabel and Longo’s Neo-Expressionist comrade David Salle also made a feature film, Search and Destroy. in 1995. Derek Jarman is, of course, an excellent example of a painter turned director.


about 2 years ago

Vincent Gallo

David Lynch perhaps…


about 2 years ago

Is Greenaway an acclaimed painter?

I liked the two films I’ve seen by him……….


about 2 years ago

Jean Cocteau


about 2 years ago



about 2 years ago

Pasolini painted though most of the acclaim he received was for his writing.
Kurosawa started out as a painter I believe.

Michael Guillen

about 2 years ago

Wim Wenders.

about 2 years ago

Along with all mentioned Gus Van Sant and Agnès Varda. There are many, many, many. But I agree, recently it seems there has been a large shift towards film.

Matt Parks

about 2 years ago

Robert Breer
Charles and Ray Eames


11 months ago

Akira Kurosawa

Maurice Pialat

blue lips

11 months ago

Italian director Matteo Garrone was a painter until he began his career as a filmmaker.


11 months ago

Fritz Lang went to art school to become a painter, but I don’t know how “acclaimed” he was.

Francis​co J. Torres

11 months ago

As a young man John Ford studied painting.