‘Bob Ross’ paints a fancy portrait of the artist’s life, and the battle that adopted it

“Bob Ross” begins by dutifully charting Ross’ rise as a TV character. He adopted a stint within the Air Pressure by instructing artwork, utilizing his soothing voice, trademark mane and knack for churning out landscapes at lightning pace to safe a spot on tv internet hosting “The Pleasure of Portray.”

Ross achieved these breakthroughs with the assistance of a pair, Annette and Walt Kowalski, who championed him and his work, earlier than assuming management of Bob Ross Inc. after he died of most cancers in 1995 at 52.

It is at that time when the documentary — directed by Joshua Rofé, and produced by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone — kicks into a distinct gear. The filmmakers proceed to discover how the Kowalskis cemented and guarded their authority over Ross’ legacy, and their dispute with Ross’ son Steve, in a bitter wrestle that continued lengthy after Bob Ross’ dying and wound up within the courts.

“Bob Ross” in some ways feels just like the oldest of tales, presenting the avuncular artist as a gifted practitioner of his craft who doubtlessly lacked the enterprise savvy to guard his pursuits. (The deal with the Ross property considerably glosses over different particulars of the artist’s life, together with his extramarital affairs, that are alluded to briefly.)

New Bob Ross documentary complicates the legacy of an artist who painted 'happy little trees'

Whereas Steve Ross was interviewed extensively, many others declined to be, together with the Kowalskis, who the documentary responded to the filmmakers with a letter that raised the specter of authorized motion towards them. In a press release to Self-importance Truthful, the corporate dismissed the documentary as making an attempt to “relitigate claims introduced towards Bob Ross Inc.” in Steve Ross’ 2017 lawsuit.

By working on twin tracks, the movie manages to faucet into the nostalgia relating to Ross, which has grown by means of the years — from a 2019 exhibition to the Bob Ross Expertise in Indiana — whereas venturing into murkier corners that danger casting extra difficult clouds over these recollections.

“Bob Ross” paints a portrait of the person, who referred to portray miscues as “completely satisfied accidents.” But it is the remainder of the movie’s subhead that serves as its basis, and a reminder that with the lives and legacies of beloved public figures, it isn’t at all times straightforward to see the forest for the bushes.

“Bob Ross: Blissful Accidents, Betrayal & Greed” premieres Aug. 25 on Netflix.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button