Design Matters: Lawrence Weiner

Directed & Edited by Hillman Curtis. Produced by Debbie Millman & Hillmancurtis

Lawrence Weiner is an American artist and iconoclast we shot in the Fall of 2009. I was approached by Debbie Millman, the host of the radio talk show Design Matters, who is a huge fan of Mr. Weiner. She had spoken to him about a radio interview but then thought why not film it. It was a fun shoot, the way all of these Artist Series were. Very simple. We’d show up in the morning, map out a loose plan and hit the record button. This one I remember directing Ben Wolf – DP – to shoot the interview/discussion between Debbie and Mr. Weiner as if it were a prize fight…because that’s what it resembled. The moment Debbie started talking with Lawrence it became this sparring match, with both circling eachother, standing in the middle of Mr. Weiner’s studio. No sit down interview would have been possible.

The moving portrait was loosely influenced by a photograph from Canadian photographer Jeff Wall. I wanted to expose the set and tracks and I knew I had to use the mirror. I surrounded him with women because he looks like a guy who should be surrounded by women and there was something beautiful in the composition…it didn’t hurt that he has an amazing face to rest the lens on after the push.