Painting with John (HBOmax)

After two episodes of Painting with John, I was forced to consult Wikipedia to confirm my suspicions were correct: I had no idea who John Lurie is.

After two episodes, I really like John and I think watching him paint with watercolors and tell stories is a fantastic way to spend 22 minutes. John is the type of guy that you could spend a lifetime with and rest comfortably knowing you’ll never really understand him. Not for lack of time or effort, but because what you see and hear from John feels like a translation – and a slightly obtuse one at that – of the real John behind the translation. Much like his paintings, I get the feeling that they don’t come close to the mental images that inspire him, but this technique is how he’s been able to get the rough idea out on canvas and that’ll just have to work for now. And the painting just evolves into something entirely different along the way.

Meanwhile, John tells us stories about something or someone incredible and makes it sound mundane, while his mundane is engaging and casually delicious. He’s a rare element, somewhere between Frank Zappa and Anthony Bourdain. The universe just doesn’t make many of these folks