is a feature length documentary film about four Brooklyn-based figurative painters: Jerome Lagarrigue, Joseph Adolphe, Tim Okamura, and Taha Clayton. They are at different points in their careers, but share the struggle to survive the difficult, often grueling, challenges of the art world. Each artist faces unique obstacles, but the painters' uncommon friendship provides the moral support to spur them onward. Their artistic efforts will intersect when the four painters attempt to pull off an ambitious collaborative show - putting the purity of their craft, and their ideals, to the test – but also bringing the potential to land them in the spotlight of the highly competitive New York art scene.
Filmmaker Jeff Martini and the four artists have combined efforts to raise funds for both the show and the documentary. Through a successful KICKSTARTER campaign, they have been able to continue the journey but can still use your help. You can find out how in the support section of the site.
Please take the time to watch the HEAVYWEIGHTPAINT trailer and to learn more about these four fantastic artists and their work. Your support for the arts and this project is greatly appreciated.
Born in Calgary, Canada in 1968, Joseph moved to New York City in 1992 to attend graduate school at the School of Visual Arts. He is currently represented by The Bertrand Delacroix Gallery in NYC and The Kehler Liddell gallery in New Haven. He is a professor in the department of Fine Arts at St. John’s university in NY where he teaches drawing and painting. Joseph lives with his wife and children in New Haven, CT.
An emerging artist with no formal academic training, Taha Clayton gathers inspiration from his passion of music, the world around him and his vivid imagination. Born in Houston, TX, raised in Toronto, ON and currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, Clayton’s paintings pull the viewer into a dreamlike world, guiding them through a story built from his own experiences, environment and fantasy. His realistic renderings are not only aesthetically refreshing, but also address social and political issues, spiritual and moral virtues, and universal expression in love and life.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, painter Tim Okamura earned a B.F.A. with Distinction at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Canada before moving to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts in 1991. After graduating with an M.F.A. in 1993, Okamura relocated to Brooklyn, New York, where he continues to live and work.
His artwork has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London, England; galleries throughout the U.S. and Canada; and is included in the permanent collection of the Davis Museum as well as the private collections of celebrity clients such as John Mellencamp and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
Tim Okamura is represented by Lyons Wier Gallery in New York, and Douglas Udell Gallery in Canada.
Born in 1973 to a French father and an American mother, Jerome Lagarrigue was raised in Paris. He moved to the United States in 1992 and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in1996.
He has received several awards for his work, including the Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe Award and the Ezra Jack Keats Award (2002).
In 2005, he was one of the recipients of the grant and residency program at Villa Medici in Rome. At the end of his stay, he held a solo exhibition in the villa’s main gallery, entitled “Paesaggio del Viso” (Landscapes of the Face).
In 2007 he collaborated with celebrated African-American poet Maya Angelou for the illustrations of her book Poetry.
In 2009, Lagarrigue was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to paint Tosca, as part of the opera’s set design (season 2009-2010 opening, directed by Luc Bondy, set design by Richard Peduzzi).
He also created Round Zero, a video project commemorating “Rumble in the Jungle”, the historic fight held in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974 between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
The artist resides and works in Brooklyn. He is represented by Galerie Olivier Waltman (Paris/Miami) and Dolby Chadwick gallery in San Francisco.
Jeff Martini has been involved in Film, Television, Music & the Web for over 15 years. He has worked as director, editor, producer, music composer, cinematographer, sound engineer, web developer, foley artist and an instructor for artists, agencies, TV stations, indie film houses & schools in and around New York City. He has recently relocated to Capitol Hill, Washington DC where he works on documentary films, composes music, plays with his garage soul band (Jeff Martini & the One Two Soul Revue) and spends time with his very understanding wife and family.
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