Review: “The Melt Goes on Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons” Documentary

“A good comedian … has to know how to handle the hecklers.”

The Melt Goes on Forever explores the work of David Hammons, a one of a kind artist who has defied the system. He has sold snowballs in the dead of winter in New York City’s East Village, baffled a bartender with his collection of bottle caps (in order to create “Higher Goals”), and strung multiple Louis Vitton bags on a statue of a woman (“Bag Lady” as part of the Casinò Fantasma exhibition at the 44th Venice Biennale).

As a renowned Black artist, he has commented on the state of politics with his work “How Ya Like Me Now?” reimagining presidential candidate Jesse Jackson as blond-haired and blue-eyed and “African American Flag” using the colors of the Pan-African flag and the design of the U.S. flag.

Not wanting to conform to either the art or political system in place, he has his own voice. The documentary by award-winning filmmaker Harold Crooks and art critic Judd Tully brings archival footage of Hammons and interviews from Suzanne Jackson, Betye Saar, Lorna Simpson, and Henry Taylor.

It’s not to be missed if you are even remotely interested in the art world. The film has an exclusive engagement at Film Forum in NYC starting May 5, 2023.


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