I found Stuart C. Paul’s documentary feature, Ink & Linda, incredibly fascinating and in ways that the filmmaker probably didn’t anticipate… which is a good thing. I’m not the biggest fan of high art. I’m not particularly fond of ballet, dance, abstract, impressionism, etc. But I am a fan of people, especially people who do not run in my circles.
Ink & Linda is the story of two unlikely artists from different disciplines, uncovering common ground amid a shared passion. Movement artist Linda Lack is considered an elder stateswoman of modern dance. In the 1970s, she found her love for dance through her aunt, who worked with Martha Graham. She caught the bug for dance and honed her art with Twyla Tharp. Then, as her peers fell by the wayside to injury, Lack moved to Los Angeles and created a new dance style known for its flowing yet controlled movement.
Inksap (aka Ink) is an ink and graffiti artist hailing from Orange Country, California. Currently, in his 20s, Ink was born the son of Vietnamese immigrants. He takes the pain of his family’s history and feelings of being an outcast in lily-white Southern California and puts it right into his art. One day, Lack came across his art on the street and was instantly enamored by its imagery and technique. She had to meet him, but the suspicious younger artist kept giving her phony numbers. Finally, persistence won over, and the two found they not only had a lot in common but could learn a great deal from each other.
“…the story of two unlikely artists from different disciplines, finding common ground and a shared passion.”
The bulk of Ink & Linda centers on a collaboration between the artists, an oversized piece of graffiti art. The two would scour the street of Los Angeles, plastering their art on random buildings while dodging the police. Documentarian Stuart C. Paul allows us to be a fly-on-the-wall of Ink and Lack’s creative process. Both are remarkably expressive about art and incredibly collaborative and deferential to one another. You don’t often see this kind of partnership between creatives who demand absolute control.
Of course, it helps that they come from incredibly diverse disciplines, and both are so eager to learn and apply this new knowledge. Inksap and Linda Lack are fascinating as hell. Yeah, I don’t understand high art at all, but I locked into how both of them talk about art. It is like we’re thrown into the artists’ brains and wind up in Wonderland. I want to use the word “pretentious” at times, but that would be unfairly derogatory because there is no air of phoniness between the two. At the same time, the world of art that they live in and that feeds them is absolutely foreign to me. I may not get it, but I’m glad it exists.
Documentaries exist for many reasons. In the case of Ink & Linda, it’s to take us to a world that we may not be familiar with and show us something new, something interesting. Not only do we meet two unique artists, but we get to see them collaborate and create.
For more information, visit the Ink & Linda official website.
"…take us to a world that we may not be familiar with and show us something new, something interesting."