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How the New Bob Ross Documentary Insights into His Legacy

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What the New Bob Ross Documentary Reveals About His Legacy

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents and Betrayal & Greed explores a darker aspect of the Joy of Painting

A few names in the field of contemporary art have the same appeal to mass markets than Bob Ross. The prolific artist has become one of the most well-known artists thanks to his program, The Joy of Painting which was broadcast at PBS for 11 seasons, from 1983 until 1994. For the duration of 31 episodes, Ross dazzled viewers with breathtaking landscapes which he painted on a canvas that he had painted in just 30 minutes. Even today, the calming program is watched on YouTube and Ross remains a household name.

Ross’s signature wet-on-wet technique for oil painting (painting over an extremely thin coating of paint that was wet) was the foundation of an entire course that was based around Ross’s art-based approach. Even today instructors are certified, and then instruct classes to help them be able to discover the joy of painting, and then sell it to the future generation.

However, is life with Bob Ross as joy-filled as it appears? That’s the question at the heart of Bob Ross: Happy Betrayed, Accidents and Greed the latest Netflix documentary created by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, and written by Joshua Rofe.

Although this documentary generally presents Ross in an optimistic light, complete with testimonies about his character from people who have intimate contact with him, however, it’s more criticizing Bob Ross Inc., or BRI which is the company that now holds all rights to the Bob Ross name and likeness. (Ross passed away in July 1995 after a lengthy and private fight against cancer.)

A key character that is featured in the film is Steve Ross, Bob’s only child. He asserts that his father’s former business partners, Annette and Walt Kowalski did not respect Bob’s final desires by taking full control of his name.

“Just sitting next to Steve Ross at that kitchen table during the interview as we talked about the end of Bob’s life as well as his death–just the waves of emotions he was swept with was heartbreaking,” Rofe tells AD. “There was no doubt that this is a mature man at the moment experiencing these emotions that are like they could be a long time long ago. It’s a memory that stays for him.”

a man painting a picture of mountains
Bob Ross’s son, Steve Ross, working on a painting – biographyflash.com

 

Bob Ross: Happy Betrayal, Mishaps & Greed explores a darker aspect of The Joy of Painting

A few names in contemporary art are as popular like Bob Ross. The prolific artist became one of the art world’s most famous figures due to his TV series, The Joy of Painting which was a hit in PBS for 11 years between 1983 and 1994. For the duration of 31 seasons, Ross dazzled viewers with breathtaking landscapes that he brought into life using a canvas that was blank in just 30 minutes. Even now the program is watched by viewers on YouTube and Ross is a legend in the world of culture.

Ross’s signature wet-on-wet oil-painting technique (painting over the base coating of paint that was wet) was the foundation of a whole program that was based on Ross’s art-based approach. To this day, instructors become certified and then go on to instruct classes to help them learn about and sell the joy of painting to the future generation.

However, is life with Bob Ross as joy-filled as it appears? That’s the principal question driving Bob Ross: Happy Accidents and Betrayal and Greed, the newest Netflix documentary written by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone and directed by Joshua Rofe.

Although the film generally presents Ross in an optimistic light, complete with personal testimonies from individuals who have intimate contact with him, however, it is more negative about Bob Ross Inc., or BRI the corporation which owns Bob Ross’s name and likeness. Bob Ross name and likeness. (Ross passed away in July 1995, following a lengthy private fight with cancer. )

A key character of the movie The film’s main character is Steve Ross, Bob’s only child. He asserts that his father’s business partners, Annette and Walt Kowalski did not respect Bob’s final desires by taking full control of his name.

“Just sitting in the same room as Steve Ross at that kitchen table during the interview as we discussed the end of Bob’s life as well as his death–just the surge of emotions he was swept with was heartbreaking,” Rofe tells AD. “There was no doubt that we are witnessing a grown man at this moment in a state of emotions that appear as raw as they have been years long ago. It’s a memory that is etched in his memory. 

The film ultimately is a reminder that each legacy is determined by the person who has the power to define it. In this case Bob Ross, there may not be any clear answers as to what he wanted and did not wish to do. In the end, Rofe is optimistic that those who love the artist will leave with “a greater emotional bond” to him.

“Once the message is heard by Steve when you hear from the other people who were close to Bob through these very difficult periods in his life I’m hoping that people feel a profound and compassionate connection to Bob like that they had not previously.”

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