By George Bate & Josh Reilly B.
The trauma and enduring effects of warfare are topics explored frequently in art, but few pieces exhibit the rawness and uniqueness of H.C. (Cliff) Westermann’s work. Westermann was an artist, marine, and acrobat who served in both World War II and the Korean War. As a means to process the horrors he witnessed on the front lines, Westermann created surreal, meticulous works of art that have since inspired many aspiring artists.
A new documentary film Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man if He Was an Idea explores Westermann’s work, its novel insightful into psychological trauma, its impact on generations of artists, conceptions of masculinity, hope, resiliency, and more. The film is directed by Leslie Buchbinder and features content from thousands of letters personally written by Westermann, in addition to an interview in which Westermann is voiced by Academy Award nominee Ed Harris. The film is executive produced by internationally acclaimed artist KAWS and features music from Laurie Anderson and Terry Allen.
Check out our EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Westermann writer/director Leslie Buchbinder below!
Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea recently screened in New York and LA and is screening in Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago on October 19. The presentation will be introduced by Art Institute of Chicago president James Rondeau and will feature Buchbinder speaking about the documentary. Click here for more information on the screening.