SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! If, like me, you are asking to whom the title Everyone Wants to be the Next Weismann is referring, first-time director Alberto Triano’s documentary may sometimes wander too far into the weeds of the contemporary art world for you, but more often, it depicts the delicate dance between creator and curator in the search to find the next big thing.
We follow Martín Solo, an eccentric art collector who hosts a private museum in Spain, which, according to the film’s press kit, is touted as the most-visited private museum in the country. Solo fashions himself as a real-life Tyler Durdin, right down to his tan leather jacket and yellow-lensed aviators. He is a man haunted by letting the titular artist slip through his grasp and is determined to find the next wunderkind of the modern art world. He sees this in Mu Pan, an up-and-comer who has found considerable recognition in Europe, even though he is based in Brooklyn.
Pan’s work is a beautiful blend of cultural chaos, and the movie spends considerable time giving us a glimpse behind the methods to his creativity that has led to global exhibitions over the past decade. When Solo lands Pan, he sets out to transform his quarters into something that will accentuate his work, highlighting his talent and serving as his red carpet to global recognition.
“…Martín Solo…is determined to find the next wunderkind of the modern art world…”
For Solo, the space in which an artist’s exhibit is housed must not merely provide empty wall space to hang their pieces but must envelop and transform the art into billboards that announce the artist’s arrival. In some of the most interesting moments of the documentary, we witness Solo fussing over getting just the right color of red for the gallery’s walls, as the apparent Pantone hues he was provided did not land between burgundy and maroon as he envisioned.
There are other aspects of Everyone Wants to be the Next Weismann that provide a fascinating glimpse into the industry of art promotion, including a pit stop with Dan Benveniste, who creates high-quality hand-crafted reprints of original art to help artists craft quality copies for purchase. The skill and detail involved with such a process is a worthy detour into a little-seen aspect of the art world.
Too often, though, the filmmaker drops us into a world that provides little context for those not steeped into the lore and machinations of modern art. The movie’s hour runtime introduces us to a number of people within the industry but does not make immediately clear how all of them fit into the puzzle together.
Triano certainly has the visual flair to light, frame, and present his subjects and demonstrates skills that will serve him well in future projects. But with Everyone Wants to be the Next Weismann, there is merely too little connective tissue to its narrative to hold the interest of those whose knowledge of the art world does not stretch far beyond Basquiat and Banksy.
Everyone Wants to be the Next Weismann screened at the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival.
"…provides little context for those not steeped into the lore and machinations of modern art."