the loveART blog

puppet master

This haunting video clip is from Masters, a work-in-progress by Brian Hull, an Emmy Award-winning puppet master, writer, director and singer. Brian was checking out the wordARTist’s Theory of the Power of loveART one day and was moved to respond: 

Building bridges, dissolving obstacles–yes, yes, yes. I do believe that art will save the world; I know for a fact that it heals. When I was in Normandy a little French girl tried to speak to me in English after a show; then a teacher giddily translated for her so she could have a conversation with me. Turns out she was with a class of mentally and emotionally challenged children and had never spoken at home or at school. So what made her want to talk to me after the marionette show?


What mysterious power indeed? Even more thrilling, it turns out Brian’s experience isn’t unique. “I related this to my friend Philip Huber (puppeteer on Being John Malcovich),” Brian wrote, “and he said a similar thing happened when marionette artist Bil Baird visited a children’s hospital–a boy who had not spoken in years started talking to the puppet, and immediately he was surrounded by doctors and nurses. I think, though, this is not just puppet-specific, but rather has to do with the arts. Without the arts, I don’t know where I would be. It’s such a crime to take it out of schools and such.”

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Brian performs with his puppets in France, Germany and Italy as well as in his home base of Nashville. In the YouTube clip above he brings to life Van Gogh and Michelangelo in mini-puppet operas (he does the singing, too); a longer version with more artist-puppets will be released in 2010, with DVDs and CDs and an illustrated book. If, like me, you’re very visually oriented, check out the high-resolution version of the Masters trailer. It takes several minutes to download, but your patience will be rewarded with great beauty. 

(All images courtesy Brian Hull.)


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  1. No matter how many times I watch this I’m amazed by this man’s talent. I can only hope he can expose children and adults alike in the masses to the arts through his work. In a culture continuously dumbed down by the mass media it really is essential projects such as that infiltrate the norm and provide an alternative. Children embrace puppetry–the potential Masters has to communicate in a language well received by our youth is exponential!

    Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  2. * mary whitaker says:

    Bravo!!!! Amazing!!!! Beautiful puppets!!!!

    Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  3. * Galen Fott says:

    “The arts are the signature of a civilization.” –Beverly Sills

    “Masters” is already an incredible project that’s only going to get better. Go, Brian!

    Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  4. * Graham Hepburn says:

    This is a great and unique project, created by a really sensitive artist, well done Brian.

    Have a day off!!

    Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  5. Absolutely beautiful, visually captivating, soothing.

    Lovely work, Brian.

    Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  6. * Betsy True says:

    I had tears in my eyes! What a beautiful project–created with such care. I was transported to this world and didn’t want to leave it. Thank you Brian.

    Posted 9 years, 7 months ago

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