Beautiful Losers follows the lives and careers of a collective group of Do-it-yourself artists and designers who inadvertently affected the art world. Free spirited approach to life. Not seeking just doing their thing. True, expressive freedom does not exist and its not given, unless you create it yourself and cultivate it. With a policy – don’t ask anyone for permission. DIY. Attaching yourself to what feels to be true. This is where it all begins. To go on waiting is madness. Colonial slavery was not abolished because governments decided that it was no longer cool to abuse people. It was direct action of people who stood up and revolted against it.
Beautiful Losers is a 2008 documentary feature film by director Aaron Rose and co-directed by Joshua Leonard. It was produced by Sidetrack Films in association with BlackLake Productions, and stars several artists including Harmony Korine, writer of independent cult films Kids and Gummo.
The film focuses on the careers and work of a collective group of artists who since the 1990s began a movement in the art world using D.I.Y. aesthetics from skateboarding, graffiti and underground music such as punk rock and hip-hop. The artists discussed and interviewed in the film include Thomas Campbell, Cheryl Dunn, Shepard Fairey, Harmony Korine, Geoff McFetridge, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Mike Mills, Steven "Espo" Powers, Aaron Rose, Ed Templeton and Deanna Templeton.
A series of interviews with these artists explains their reasoning behind their "do-it-yourself" style of street art. As some of these artists discuss their growth in popular artistic culture they explain how becoming renown and admired in the art world was something that never occurred to them from their various roots in street culture, or simply creating art for themselves. As many of the artists began to be recognizable and sought after they discuss their series of commercial success: creating advertisements for popular products, designing products themselves, working in film and being hired to paint and create artwork in well known locations. The personal feelings and convictions of some of the artists and how creating work for corporations compares to their beginnings in street culture is also discussed. The film portrays the artists as outside the realm of contemporary art.