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11 Best Art Documentaries on Amazon Prime

If you are looking for a documentary that will take you into the world of art, why don’t try our list of 11 best art documentaries on Amazon Prime? You may discover a new artist, a new type of art, or just get to know more about the topic that interests you.

There are many kinds of art. If you look at a broad definition of art, it involves every form of expression, from painting to dancing to photography. Art has always been a tricky topic to discuss. For me, art is one of the most subjective things. For example, if someone paints an awesome graffiti on the wall, I will consider that as an art. On the other hand, a person that considers art to be something similar to Rembrandt’s paintings and sculptures of Michelangelo will discard graffiti as an art and consider it pure vandalism.

When speaking about arguments and art, it is safe to say that conceptual art causes the most opposing opinions. In conceptual art, the idea behind the art piece or an art performance is more important than art piece or an art performance itself. As much as I am open minded, I don’t consider Shia LaBeouf’s movie marathon or putting a paper bag over his head to be an art. He thinks he is an artist and there are lots of people who think that and stained tablecloths, for example, is an art. I disagree but respect the opinion. This is where the subjectivity kicks in. If something isn’t art for someone, it doesn’t exclude it as an art. If you are into the art of making documentaries and have Amazon Prime subscription, we recommend you to check out our list of 35 Best Documentaries on Amazon Prime.

When it comes to documentaries dedicated to art, it is safe to say that Amazon Prime is a bit shy in that department. There are only 44 documentaries currently available in the category. To get our list of 11 best art documentaries on Amazon Prime, we went through all of them and decided to use the number of ratings (meaning more people watched it) and Amazon rating as our starting point. We first ranked the documentaries according to the number of raters and then according to the Amazon rating from the users. From that, we calculated the average rating for each documentary and got the final list. Check it out.

11. Images of Jesus

Amazon Rating: 3
Number of Raters: 15

Christianity has inspired artists through history. This documentary takes you through the history of images of Jesus and how art actually influenced the way we perceive his look.

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10. IF the Poet

Amazon Rating: 5
Number of Raters: 1

Now, let’s step into the world of poetry. This documentary follows the story of Ian French, 50-year-old Canadian who decided to do something about his love for poetry and try out in the harsh world of poetry slam. After rough beginnings, he sets a goal of winning the World Cup of Poetry in France.


9. Tower Paris 13: Building a Street Art

Amazon Rating: 5
Number of Raters: 1

One weak side of street art is that it can be easily destroyed. After an apartment building was set to be demolished, 105 artists from around the world gathered to cover it in more than 400 pieces of art. This documentary stands as a reminder of their effort.

Paris Tower 13 – Trailer from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

8. Helmut Newton – Frames from the Edge

Amazon Rating: 5
Number of Raters: 1

Photography lovers: here is one for you as well. This documentary that ranked 8th on our list of best art documentaries on Amazon Prime from 1989 follows legendary fashion photographer Helmut Newton, known for his daring and erotic filled style of photography, through the process of making the perfect photos.


7. Opening

Amazon Rating: 5
Number of Raters: 2

Opening will give you an insight into the New York’s art world, while also exploring various questions including the one about the existence of art in today’s world.

6. Darkroom Masters: Carlos Barrantes, Artist, and Artisan

Amazon Rating: 4.4
Number of Raters: 5

This documentary will get you familiar with Carlos Barrantes, the man who combined photography and printing to enable himself a whole new way of expression and making art.


5. Traveler

Amazon Rating: 3.6
Number of Raters: 11

Another documentary about photography has made it onto our list of 11 best art documentaries on Amazon Prime. The documentary talks about Nicholas Syracuse who has spent 20 years capturing pictures of people traveling through the United States using remote and rural roads.


4. The Shakespeare Enigma

Amazon Rating: 3.4
Number of Raters: 39

We bet you love conspiracies! We all do – there is nothing to be ashamed about. This documentary, next on our list of best art documentaries on Amazon Prime explores the life of William Shakespeare through an interesting point of view. The thesis is that English dramatist Christopher Marlowe faked his own death and continued to write under the name of William Shakespeare. It will make you wonder everything you thought you knew about Shakespeare.


3. Bending the Light

Amazon Rating: 4.5
Number of Raters: 12

Bending the Light is a must see for all amateur and professional photographers. It follows the process of making the “heart of the camera,” the lens, and shows just how complicated and detailed process it is.


2. Tattoo Nation

Amazon Rating: 4.5
Number of Raters: 43

Tattoo Nation is basically a story about a revolution in the world of tattoos. It explores the way tattoos became an art and how people are using tattoos to express themselves. Throughout the documentary, you will be able to hear the stories of tattoo pioneers but also get to know what tattoos mean to some celebrities like Danny Trejo and Travis Baker.


1. Bill Cunningham New York

Amazon Rating: 4.8
Number of Raters: 301

Fashion and art go hand in hand in the last documentary on our list of 11 best art documentaries on Amazon Prime. The documentary is the story about Bill Cunningham, famous New York street fashion photographer and how he devoted his life to documenting the way people dress. You will be able to see some of his finest works but also find out more about the passion that drove him forward.