Image by Felix Mooneeram

Paul & Trisha – The Art of Fluidity

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Movie Release 2023

Paul & Trisha – The Art of Fluidity

Paul & Trisha – The Art of Fluidity dives into the colorful life of well known 77-year-old trans British artists Paul Whitehead and his alter ego Trisha van Cleef as they navigate their gender and artistic fluidity as two artists in one body.

Early in his career, Paul Whitehead was integral to the launch of the UK Time Out in addition to being Art Director for John Lennon. In his signature surreal style he went on to create album covers for music icons Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator, Lindisfarne, and Peter Hammill, among others.

Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1973, Whitehead founded the Eyes and Ears Foundation and created the Artboard Festival where local artists could freely improvise on billboards turning their work into a novel ‘drive-through’ community art gallery.

Widely recognized as both muralist and painter, Whitehead’s indoor mural at the former Vegas World Casino, now the Stratosphere, holds the Guinness record for the largest indoor mural in the world. During the 60s and 70s at the height of “Sex Love and Rock n’ Roll,” Whitehead began exploring his gender fluidity, periodically wearing items of women’s clothing. However, not until his marriage at age 55 that his other half, Trisha van Cleef, emerged.  What earlier began in the privacy of their bedroom between Paul and his wife soon gave way to another identity - presenting to the world as a woman.

 

Ultimately, it was Paul’s gender fluidity that doomed his marriage but marked the beginnings of a completely different artistic expression and freedom to live harmoniously as both genders.

Paul and Trisha have weathered a lifetime of challenges and victories in the mercurial and competitive art world, often choosing artistic freedom over commercial exploitation. And both have faced the stigma and fear around their sexuality and genders. In this 70-minute documentary, Paul and Trisha masterfully navigate these unchartered and perilous waters in an entertaining, artistic and unapologetic way. They remind us to tune out the voices of criticism and that not everyone is going to love you or like what you do…And that is OK.