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CRvM is the first in a series of short experimental documentaries by directors Justin Carlson and Alex Nicholson. By presenting the artist’s studio as a physical space, but also a more abstract “headspace,” the film provides a glimpse into the mind of painter Christian Rex van Minnen, pairing his words with visuals that communicate both the psychic and technical processes that play an integral role in his work.

While Christian Rex van Minnen’s prowess as a painter is no doubt an expression of his unnatural talent, it is also the product of a life dedicated to mastery of the process. That process is as introspective and emotional as it is technical. “What painting has given me over the however many years I’ve been doing it,” he told the filmmakers, “is just a better sense of my own shadow and parts of my psyche that need to be revealed to myself so I know what’s motivating me to do certain things.” The self-reflective nature of van Minnen’s process emerges as the artist working in his studio is juxtaposed with surreal, dreamlike motifs depicting the joys and struggles of creating a work of art; “the most important thing,” Christian emphasizes, “is painting. It’s not the painting.”

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