The first and, to date, the only woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director, filmmaker and Rolex Testimonee Kathryn Bigelow, just out of high school, pursued the studies of painting at the San Francisco Art Institute in the early ’70s. She would then be accepted into the Whitney Museum of American Art’s prestigious and highly selective Independent Study Program in New York.
There, she met and was officially mentored during her studies in the program by the established artist and pioneer of conceptual art, Lawrence Weiner.
In an interview with Rolex, Bigelow described Weiner’s mentorship as a "conversation". Weiner, Bigelow said, "would be very challenging, challenge your ideas. Why do you want to make this? Why is that an interesting idea? He would pose these wonderful existential questions … we would have these great, rigorous conversations that were in equal parts challenging, exciting, frustrating. That, for me anyway, is the genesis of inspiration."
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How Mentors Encouraged Kathryn Bigelow To Shoot for Cinematic Greatness
Kathryn Bigelow began her career in the 1970s as a visual artist — a painter. She might never have gone into filmmaking, and the silver screen may have been deprived of one of its greatest talents, but for the encouragement of certain key mentors in those early days.
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