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Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life – TWiT Review

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One of the most prolific artists of his time, Geoff McFetridge has undoubtedly influenced the way the world looks. His art is everywhere—on your Apple Watch, in countless galleries around the world, in title designs for films by Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze, and in collaborations with Nike, Hermès, Warby Parker, and more. The antithesis of the archetypal artist fueled by drugs, alcohol, and chaos, what sets the prodigious McFetridge apart is his obsessive quest to balance family with a creative life. In GEOFF MCFETRIDGE: DRAWING A LIFE, director, and fellow artist Dan Covert offers unprecedented access into Geoff’s multifaceted world, painting an intimate portrait of a man guided by intention and authenticity.

IN THEATERS in NYC – June 21
Available on VOD via Gravitas – July 2


Rating: 4
4/5
Interesting Film!
Informative
rb35stars
Inspiring
rb35stars
Engaging
rb4stars
Visual Content
rb5stars
editing
rb4stars

The documentary ‘Drawing a Life’ offers an intimate look into the life and creative process of Geoff McFetridge. Directed by Dan Covert with a keen eye for detail, the film explores the various facets of McFetridge’s artistic journey, shedding light on his inspirations, challenges, and the evolution of his work. This documentary is not just a biographical account; it delves deeply into the philosophy and mindset that drive McFetridge’s unique approach to art and design.

McFetridge’s interactions with his family, particularly his meaningful moments with his children, reveal a side of the artist that is both tender and grounded. These scenes not only humanize McFetridge but also highlight the significant influence his family has on his creative process.

One notable aspect of McFetridge’s approach is his determination to remain a free spirit. This quality permeates both his art and his parenting style, fostering an environment where creativity and freedom are paramount. The documentary captures instances where McFetridge’s art directly reflects his familial experiences, demonstrating how his loved ones inspire and shape his work.

The documentary highlights several key projects that underscore McFetridge’s growth and the maturation of his artistic voice. Notable among these is his collaboration with renowned brands and institutions, which has further cemented his standing in the art world.

Spanning several years, this extended timeline allows the film to capture the organic development of McFetridge’s projects and thoughts. This prolonged production period adds a layer of depth and authenticity to the narrative, making the documentary a significant piece of work in its own right.


About The Artist

Throughout his long and diverse career, Geoff McFetridge has worked across a vast array of mediums from poetry to animation, graphics to 3D, textiles and wallpaper to paintings. McFetridge has exhibited in galleries worldwide including Louis Buhl, Detroit (2022); Gallery Target, Tokyo (2022); Cooper Cole, Toronto (2021); Half Gallery, New York (2021); V1 Gallery, Copenhagen (2020); Blum and Poe, Los Angeles (2020); PlayMountain, Tokyo (2013); Heath Gallery, Los Angeles (2011) and New Image Art, West Hollywood (2006). Included in the Beautiful Losers exhibition (curated by Aaron Rose and Christian Strike) which debuted at CAC, Cincinnati in 2004, he has, also, been featured in exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Vancouver Art Gallery, Yale University Art Museum, and Geffen Contemporary at MoCA Los Angeles. As a designer, he has worked extensively with brands including Hermes, Vans, Undefeated, Patagonia & Apple just to name a few. Recently he has made public works for LA Metro & SOFI Stadium LA. Winner of the 2016 Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award and the AIGA Medal in 2019, McFetridge received his BFA from the Alberta College of Art & Design and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT BY DAN COVERT

I was first introduced to Geoff McFetridge’s work in the early 2000s and was compelled by the immediacy, emotion, and humor of his pieces. His work is so iconic that it stays lodged in your brain, and over the next two decades, I became a superfan, following along from afar as Geoff’s career continued to grow.

In 2019, my commercial production company was asked to make a two-minute film about Geoff for an award he was winning. There were countless short videos of Geoff online already, and I had a feeling there might be a larger story to tell, so I pitched making a feature film. Geoff never really said yes to the project, but he didn’t say no either. Over the next several years, I kept asking to come back to shoot with him and he kept letting me. A few years in, he finally acknowledged that we were making a feature film.

An artist, father, and ultramarathoner, I’d assumed Geoff’s public image of this cool, calm, and positive family guy must somehow be contrived and I was unconsciously searching for the stereotype of the tortured artist that’s been instilled in me by American culture: a drunken, chauvinistic, angry man. However, throughout the film, I realized I was just as compelled by Geoff’s approach to life as I was by his art. I wanted to push the film past the normal “artist doc” tropes to comment on a larger scale and create a meditation on creativity, family, and identity. What emerged is a film that asks big questions–what defines a life? And how do you decide what matters?

Geoff is part of an era of artists who came out of the DIY culture of the late nineties – he didn’t wait for the world to give him a career, he built one painstakingly and authentically on his own terms brick by brick. Like Geoff, I have an education in design and a career as an artist, which put me in a unique position to tell his story, and the making of this documentary tapped into the DIY ethos and the devotion to a craft. In a time where the world can seem so dark and fraught, it was really important to me to create a film that would inspire people.

While making this film, I turned forty and Geoff turned fifty. So, this is the story of a guy turning forty making a movie about a guy turning fifty, each of us asking the universal question: how do we use our most precious resource: time?

Director:
Dan Covert

Writer:
Amy Dempsey
Producers:
Spike Jonze and Dan Covert

Co-Producer:
Amy Dempsey

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