About the Film

At 86 years-old, Audrey Flack holds a unique place in the history of contemporary art in America. She has been a trailblazer, from her early days as an Abstract Expressionist in the 50’s, to her successful career as the sole female Photorealist in the 70’s, to her monumental public sculptures of recent decades. She was the first living woman artist included in Janson’s “History of Art”.  Queen of Hearts follows Flack as she takes her work in a brand new direction and reveals her long-term struggles as the mother of an autistic child.

The film will be built around intimate interviews with her and others, cinema verité scenes of Flack at work, performing music, and interacting with fellow artists. She is a lively, engaging and insightful storyteller and principal voice of the film. We have been following Flack for 18 months, filming her as she works on drawings, sculptures and a bold new painting series. A time-lapse camera in her studio documents her latest painting, Fiat Lux, her first new painting in nearly 40 years. We have filmed her teaching a life drawing class and sharing insights with students. Flack is the founder, banjo player and songwriter for The History of Art Band; their repertoire includes humorous and pointed songs about Pollock, Picasso and Rembrandt among others. We have filmed moving, intimate scenes of Flack with her family, playing music with her younger daughter and visiting her older, autistic daughter in the institution where she resides.

Flack has something deep and genuine to communicate to the world as an artist, a teacher, a woman and a mother. She is a provocateur and a rebel, an example and an inspiration. Queen of Hearts is a moving portrait of an artist who is still testing, still experimenting, still searching.

Art is a calling. Artists are not discovered in school. Artists do not just paint for themselves and they don’t simply paint for an audience. They paint because they have to. There is something within the artist that has to be expressed. Every creation reveals something more about the universe and about the artist.”
— Audrey Flack, Art & Soul: Notes on Creating