Mario Sanchez is a self-taught painter who was born in Key West, FL in 1908 and died in 2005, age 96. He saw island society change and depicted his memories of daily life in a continuing series of painted, hand-chiseled wood reliefs. His unique work, made using dime store brushes and paint mixed with castor oil on pine and cedar boards, is among the most famous folk art in the world. This sole film portrait of the artist shows the sympathy, humor and personal involvement of a native son as he captures a distinctive part of the American scene.
Jack: “I was directing a picture for ABC in Key West, Florida when I saw some of Mario Sanchez’s postcards in a shop window. I looked him up and there he was making one of his wood cuts. A month later I went back and filmed him for my own company. He was the first of a trilogy that resulted in a PBS special called “Three American Folk Painters.”