Leslie Buchbinder
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Leslie Buchbinder is a Chicago-based writer & director, & the founder & Artistic Director of Pentimenti Productions. Her directorial debut was the award-winning “Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists,” a 2014 documentary chronicling the history and impact of an iconoclastic group of young artists from the School of the Art Institute. Slated for release in 2023, Buchbinder’s second feature is "H.C. Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea,” a 3-D film about artist H.C. Westermann. Executive produced by the international art icon KAWS, the film features the voice of four-time Academy Award nominee Ed Harris; music by Laurie Anderson & The Kronos Quartet; & bespoke music compositions by MacArthur Genius Grant winner, Tomeka Reid. Prior to founding Pentimenti, Buchbinder began her career as a professional dancer with companies in Chicago and San Francisco, then pivoted to working in museum & arts public relations at The Kreisberg Group, (New York City), & thereafter established her own arts public relations company in Chicago that specialized in local & international p.r. for clients including Sara Lee Corporation; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Arts Club of Chicago; among others. In 2011, she was nominated to the Committee on Prints and Drawings of The Art Institute of Chicago; to the Advisory Board of the Chicago Film Archives in 2012; & to the Board of Trustees of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2021.


  • "Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists"

    A lavishly-illustrated romp through Chicago Imagist art: the Second City scene that challenged Pop Art’s status quo in the 1960s, then faded from view. Forty years later, its funk and grit inspires artists from Jeff Koons to Chris Ware, making the Imagists the most famous artists you never knew...

    What people are saying about Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists:

    “The year’s greatest art film…A joyous, graphic portrait of the artists and the period.”
    - Gaper’s Block

    “A brilliant treasure trove…The most comprehensive chronicle of Chicago's most vibrant, iconoclastic, and carnivalesque chapter in art history.” - Cine-file

    "Illuminating...Helps fill a yawning gap in the conventional telling of American modern art’s story." - Hyperallergic

    "Far from a dry litany of talking heads...A love letter." - Chicago Tribune

    “Funky, folky, and still fresh.” - Art in America

    “In short, you should watch the movie.” - Art F City

    “Fulsomely intelligent…Charming and rambunctious…A delightful present day look at a past.” - Border Crossings

    “Electric, lovely film-making…Must be seen by all Chicagoans and art lovers, as well as anyone who wants to feel superbly inspired…Engrossing and informative…[A] captivating tale.” - Chicagoist

    "In Leslie Buchbinder the Chicago Imagists have found their video Vasari." - Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale University School of Art (from the DVD liner notes)