5 Must-See Films About Great Artists

The only thing more dramatic than art is perhaps the artists who make it. Artists are notorious for having wild lives with twists and turns that are almost too cinematic to be true. From getting arrested and tortured by their countries to tumultuous marriages to court cases, artists have some of the most interesting lives that we could imagine. Plus, who wouldn’t want a glimpse into the life of someone who’s created great – even legendary – works of art?! Thankfully filmmakers – who are arguably some of the most dramatic artists themselves – have taken notices of visual artist’s lives and dramatized them for our viewing pleasure.

Here are some of the best films about artists out there right now:


Frida Khalo’s work is instantly recognizable. Her self-portraits have become iconing – esepcially in Mexico. Not only was Frida an amazing artist but she was a strong woman, battling chronic pain and illness all her life.

In the film Frida, we watch Salma Hayek play the legendary artist. We follow Frida throughout her marriage and career and are with her for all the twists and turns that come along the way. Hayek fought hard for this film to get made, and when it finally did premiere in 2002, she didn’t let her audience down.

Big Eyes

Plagiarism is one thing, but stealing is completely different. Sure, all the best artist steal but not like this.

This film follows the true story of Margaret Keane, a woman from Tennessee who moved to San Francisco in the ’50s. There she met her future husband, Walter. After they married, he immediately began selling her art as his own.

After they divorced, she took him to court and eventually won the case; however, you’ll have to see exactly how they settled who was the true artist!

This film follows the true and dramatic story of the Keanes and is a must-see for any art fanatic.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

While the other films on this list are biopics and fictionalized, this is a documentary. It follows one man’s desire to create a documentary about the infamous and elusive Banksy.

In the process, the filmmaker becomes the subject of the film in a way and even becomes an artist himself. You’ll have to watch this amazing documentary that features incredible street artists and Bansky himself… who’s obscured in the footage of course.

Loving Vincent

This is my favorite film on this list.

I love Vincent van Gogh. He has inspired many people through his story of struggle with mental health and through the beautiful letters he wrote to his brother.

This film follows a fictionalized Armond Roulin who goes to deliver a letter from Vincent, who’s passed on, to his brother in his last known hometown.

The best part about this film is that it is ENTIRELY oil painted. Every single frame is painted. If you were to lay out every painting created for this film in a grid, it would cover not only all of the Island of Britain but also Manhattan.

This project is amazing.


We all know who Jackson Pollock is, but not many of us are familiar with his story.

We all know the story of how van Gogh chopped off his ear. We all know about Andy Warhol and Picasso. But what about Pollock’s life. Well, it turns out it was equally as dramatic as most other artist’s.

Watch Ed Harris shine as Pollock himself.