PLASTIC MAN: THE ARTFUL LIFE OF JERRY ROSS BARRISH
Director: William Farley
Documentary | USA | 2015
74 min | Dolby 5.1
49th Hof International Film Festival
The film tells the tale of Jerry Ross Barrish’s long and not necessarily easy journey as an artist always on the verge, rubbing shoulders with the successful and celebrated while never quite breaking through. Barrish came from a hardworking Jewish family of boxing enthusiasts, and the circuitous ways of life brought him initially to the bail bonds business and eventually to art. Twenty-five years ago he was living next to a trash-strewn beach in Pacifica, California. Prompted by his life-long creative urge, he began collecting the detritus, especially the discarded plastic, and assembling it into whimsical, evocative human and animal figures. At the same time, he reassembled his life as a sculptor. The art world, however, though it approved of the imagination, scorned the material: Barrish’s beloved plastic wouldn’t do for the world of galleries and collectors. He was faced with the problem whether he risked losing his voice if he allowed his plastic figures to be cast in bronze and whether they would then lose their uniqueness. The solution of this dilemma opened up completely new dimensions for him.