The Tarot has long been a tool of charlatans. But it has also long been embraced by brilliant, unconventional thinkers, many of whom themselves have a touch of the charlatan about them (and who would just as likely admit it with a smile).[...]
If any one painting stands for mid-twentieth-century America, Nighthawks does. In fact, Edward Hopper’s 1942 canvas of four figures in a late-night New York City diner may qualify as the most vivid evocation of that country and time in any form.[...]
The writer David Auerbach once posted a fascinating inquest on left-brained literature, an examination of what he calls “a parallel track of literature that is popular specifically among engineers,” excluding genre fiction (science- or otherwise), with an eye toward “which novels of some notoriety and good PR happen to attract members of t[...]
Sometimes it’s hard for the untrained eye to figure out what exactly is going on in a Picasso.
Fortunately, the artist leaned toward informative, workmanlike titles.
Had he titled “Night Fishing at Antibes,” below, something a bit more opaque—“Untitled No.
Punk rock, an artless proletarian sneer, a working-class revolt against bourgeois tastes, good manners, and corrupt systems of consumption. Right? Sure… and also pure performance art.[...]
Yesterday, Colin Marshall featured Man Ray’s “Surrealist Chessboard” from 1934, which paid homage to the leaders of the Surrealist movement. Though artistically significant, the chessboard had some practical limitations.[...]
Blade Runner came out in June 1982. Microsoft’s Paint came out in November 1985. Little could the designers of that rebranded version of ZSoft’s PC Paintbrush packaged in with Windows 1.0 know that the paths of their humble graphics application and that elaborate sci-fi cinematic vision would cross just over 30 years later.[...]
Like most artists, Emmanuel Radnitzky had more than one major interest in his life. We who know him as Man Ray usually first encounter him through his photography, such as the artist and writer portraits featured here at Open Culture last year. But Man Ray himself ultimately considered painting his main creative field.[...]