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Worth Watching
  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.

Monday
Feb082016

Gala and Dali

Helena (“Gala”) Diankonova and Salvador Dali (click photo for larger image)(Left) Salvador Dalí. Portrait of Gala. 1935. Oil on wood, 12 3/4 x 10 1/2" (32.4 x 26.7 cm). Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. © 2005 Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; (Right) Salvador Dalí. Salvador Dalí. Portrait of Gala with Rhinocerotic Symptoms - 1954. Oil on canvas, 39 x 31.5 cm (approx. 15.4 x 12.4 in) Private collection (click photo for larger image)Russian-born Helena Diankonova met surrealist master Salvador Dali (1904-1989) in 1929. Ten years his senior, “Gala” was then married to Paul Éluard--a French poet and one of the founders of the Surrealist movement. But an affair sparked and the two eventually wed in 1943. Gala was far more than a muse for her husband. She was also the quirky artist’s business manager--and was instrumental in his financial success. Gala was the subject of several of Dali’s paintings. Dali and Gala would often shock people by their behaviors—such as showing up at parties wearing clear plastic—wholly transparent—clothing. Dali’s colleagues didn’t like Gala (nor did his family). His fellow artists found her to be cold—and believed she was turning Dali into a caricature—and undermining the integrity of the Surrealist movement. But Dali always insisted that he would have nothing had it not been for Gala.

Friday
Feb052016

Frida and Diego

Diego Rivera - The Arsenal- Frida Kahlo Distributes Arms (El arsenal-Frida Kahlo repartiendo armas), detail, from the cycle "Political Vision of the Mexican People", 1928, fresco - approx. 79 7/8" x 13' 6" (2.03 x 3.98 m - Ministry of Education, Mexico City (click photo for larger image)Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on My Mind) - 1943 - Oil on Masonite - 29 7/8 x 24 in. - Gelman Collection, Mexico City (click photo for larger image)Although this is the only image Diego Rivera (1886-1957) ever painted of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) — we know that she was his muse from the beginning--to the end--of their long and turbulent relationship. They were married twice. He had a string of affairs—including one with her sister. Frida also had multiple affairs, with both men and women. Nevertheless, we also know...without question...that Diego was Frida Kahlo’s muse. Some of her paintings include his image--and most of them deal with issues involving their relationship.

Wednesday
Feb032016

Quote of the Day

“Creativity takes courage.” - Henri Matisse 

Monday
Feb012016

“Modi” and Jeanne—A Tragic Tale

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) - Jeanne Hebuterne - 1917-1918 - Oil on canvas - 39 1/4 x 25 1/2 in. (99.7 x 64.8 cm) - Private collection (click photo for larger image)Jeanne Hebuterne - Portrait of Amedeo Modigliani - 1918 Private collection Painting - oil on canvas Height: 47 cm (18.5 in.), Width: 33 cm (12.99 in.)One of the most tragic stories of art history is that of Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) and his muse and, later, wife, Jean Hebuterne. In the spring of 1917, the Russian sculptor Chana Orloff introduced Modigliani to the beautiful 19-year-old art student. Jeanne. Hébuterne was renounced by her devout Roman Catholic family for her liaison with the painter, and, later, for her marriage to him. Modigliani and Hébuterne eventually moved to Nice, and they had a daughter whom they named Jeanne (1918–1984). When Modigliani died on January 24, 1920, Hébuterne was pregnant with their second child. She threw herself out of a fifth-story window the following day--killing herself and their unborn child. Merrill Secrest’s book, written with unprecedented access to letters, diaries, and photographs never before seen, is an extraordinary revelation of a life lived in art. It’s called, “Modigliani: A Life”. Modigliani was also—clearly—Jeanne Hebuterne’s muse, as seen in this portrait of him.

Friday
Jan292016

Alma

“Alma Mahler, 1912," by Oskar Kokoschka, oil on canvas, 24 3/8 by 22 inches, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (click photo for larger image)Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) fell in love with the widow of composer Gustav Mahler. Alma was eleven years older than Kokoschka. They had a three-year relationship. Before she married Mahler, she had been involved with Gustav Klimt. After her relationship with Kokoschka, she married Walter Gropius, the architect (a founder of Bauhaus school and pioneer of modern architecture), and then Franz Werfel, the writer (‘Song of Bernadette’). In this portrait, Kokoschka was obviously influenced by Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa."