Picasso’s self-portraits are important because they span his entire career, and we can trace how his manner of self-depiction changed over time.
It’s interesting to compare the self-portraits from, for instance, the Blue Period to those done when he was working in a Cubist mode only a few years later. In a way, his self-portraits reflect different periods of his artistic maturity and art career.
Pablo Picasso didn’t see the changing methods as an evolution, but simply as different expressions at that moment in time.
Hidden in a narrow cavern extending less than two feet from floor to ceiling, five cave drawings are the largest of their kind discovered so far in North America. Three anthropomorphic figures and two rattlesnakes are etched into the mud surface of 19th Unnamed Cave in Alabama—the name is intentionally vague to protect the exact location—with the most sizable glyph measuring nearly 11 feet. The renderings are thought to be from the Early and Middle Woodland prehistoric periods, or between 133 and 433 CE when populations began to shift from primarily nomadic hunting and gathering to settling and establishing agricultural production.
Life size wooden statues of the Niō Guardians at Sanjūsangen-dō, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. 12th century CE, Kamakura Period.
Millions of tourists stream through the hallowed halls of Vatican City to see one of Western art history’s most treasured artworks: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Gazing up 44 feet from the floor, visitors witness dramatic biblical scenes unfold throughout the monumental painting as it sprawls across the expansive architecture. The only drawback of looking up at such a height is that it’s difficult to discern smaller features and subtleties. The Sistine Chapel, a massive three-volume tome published by Callaway Arts and Entertainment and Italy’s Scripta Maneant, is dedicated to the details and presents up-close 1:1 scale images of the artist’s seminal painting in a limited-edition book.
At once fantastically imaginative and embedded in tradition, the shimmering piñatas that comprise Roberto Benavidez’s body of work expand the boundaries of the conventionally festive object. The Los Angeles-based artist (previously) cuts skinny, triangular strips of material that he attaches to paper mache forms in the shape of birds, hybrid animals, and otherworldly creatures. His metallic works often address questions of identity—the artist speaks about this further in a Colossal interview—particularly considerations of gender and sexuality through the lens of his layered forms.
Mural depicting dancers and musicians, from the Tomb of Nebamun. Egypt, New Kingdom, around 1350 BC.
A century before botany swung open the backdoor to science for Victorian women and ignited the craze for herbaria — none more enchanting than the adolescent Emily Dickinson’s forgotten herbarium — a Scottish woman by the name of Elizabeth Blackwell (1707–1758) published, against all cultural odds, an ambitious and scrumptiously illustrated guide to medicinal plants, titled A Curious Herbal: Containing Five Hundred Cuts of the Most Useful Plants Which Are Now Used in the Practice of Physick (public library).
Set to a gentle, upbeat track by Moby Gratis, “Moonlight Mojave” spins through the desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park under the glow of a night sky. The timelapse compiles 20-second exposures into a deceptive display of light and movement, with the moon and stars illuminating the arid expanses as if it were daytime. Peeking through the eponymous, shrub-like trees, photographer Gavin Heffernan (previously) captures radiant star trails that streak across the bright blue sky, emphasizing the earth’s usually imperceptible rotation.
The entrancing video is part of the multi-faceted Skyglow project, a collaborative effort between Heffernan, director Harun Mehmedinovic (previously)—he’s behind the documentary Ice on Fire—and the International Dark-Sky Association. Exploring the effects of light pollution on the already fragile planet, Skyglow is comprised of multiple video works like “Moonlight Mojave,” a book and print collection, and a forthcoming feature-length film. You can explore more from the project’s creators on its site.
It’s the tomb that keeps on giving. More than two years since its discovery, a treasure-filled Greek tomb has offered up perhaps its most significant find to date: a Minoan stone carving so sophisticated and detailed that it has forced art historians to reaccess their understanding of ancient artwork.
Dubbed the Pylos Combat Agate, the sealstone carving is just an inch and a half wide, but its impact on the study of prehistoric art may well be enormous.
Using his signature style of paper-like cutouts, Estonian illustrator Eiko Ojala (previously) digitally renders works that play with shadow and depth. He frequently collaborates with well-known publications like The Guardian and The Washington Post, among others, on editorial projects that unpack the legacy of James Joyce’s Ulysses, recount the experiences of pandemic meetups, or dive into political analyses. Ojala’s timely works are colorful and minimal, with each piece based on a strong visual metaphor.
After more than eight years of work, conservators presented the newly restored tombs in Florence this week.
The Angelus (1857) by Millet was obsessed over by Salvador Dali. In 1963 he convinced the Louvre to x-ray the painting based on his hunch that it originally depicted a funeral. He was right.
Bellatrix Sébastien Guérive music video is an 8K experimental film on the crystallization of ice stars.
It is a chemical saturation in hot water which is then cooled. The chemical saturation becomes very unstable when the liquid cools. The slightest disturbance in the liquid activates crystallization.
A Fayum mummy portrait of a young woman. 2nd century CE, now housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The miniature woolen oven mitt that Andrea Love (previously) uses to pull her handmade pizza from the oven is the only item in her stop-motion tutorial that’s true to form. An addition to the Washington-based animator’s quirky fare, the short film shows a flattened crust whirling in the air before landing on the tabletop and being topped with fiber-rich ingredients like spools of sauce, mushrooms, black olives, and cheese produced from diced yarn. Dive into Love’s world of felt-fueled cooking above, and watch her making-of video to go behind the scenes of her fleece kitchen. (via The Kids Should See This)