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Victoria and Albert Museum: 19th Century Britain

The 19th century Victorian era was a time for change and transformation in Britain. Queen Victoria held the royal office during this time, reigning from June 1837 until her passing in 1901. One of the museums that really captures art, design, and history of this era and many others is the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Museum of Art and Design in London. The museum is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.


With over 2,000 years of art, the Victoria and Albert Museum has the largest art and design collection in the world. The museum features a variety of collections including, architecture, Asia, books, ceramics, contemporary, design styles, fashion, furniture, jewelry, paintings, photography and much more! The featured collections cover many different artistic time periods and styles. Some of the time periods featured at the museum are, Baroque, Gothic, Modernism, Surrealism and more.

If you love the 19th century Victorian time period, than this is the museum for you to check out. During this era, Britain started to become its own, making great strides politically, socially and financially. Population began to grow, The Great Exhibition of 1851 occurred, manufacturing increased, new modes of transportation became available, and much more. At this point, London became one of the largest cities in the world.

The Victoria and Albert Museum features the art and style that was seen during the 19th century. Let’s look at what life was really like during this time. Men’s fashion changed a great deal during this era. The men typically wore trousers, a coat that was long in the back and short in the front, and a top hat. The women wore bonnets, corsets to show their natural figures, petticoats, and full skirts that had a crinoline cage underneath them.

During the 19th century, theatre became very popular. For leisure and entertainment, many people would go to different forms of performance, such as opera, ballet, circus, and a variety of pantomimes. However, due to the Licensing Act, there were only two theatres in London at the time, Drury Lane and Covent Garden. Since there were only two theatres for people to utilize, this became a problem. People began to form non-patent theatres to increase the entertainment throughout London.

To find out more about the 19th century Victorian era, take a tour of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Museum of Art and Design in London. If you can’t make it to the museum, watch the new Showtime series, Penny Dreadful. Penny Dreadful is set during this era, allowing you to take a peak into what life was really like during this time!

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Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Celebrities and other well-known public figures have become apart of many of our lives. Whether you watch them in movies, on television shows, or they are in your favorite band, celebrities are all around us. They even have their own museum featuring some of the most popular celebrities over years. In 1835, wax sculptor, Marie Tussaud opened up a museum that displayed her creations in London. The museum became known as Madame Tussauds.

Since many of us may never get the chance to meet or even see some of our favorite celebrities, Madame Tussauds features an alternative. Madame Tussauds features a variety of life-size wax models. At the museum you area able to take a look at different figures in a variety of categories including, Hollywood stars, leaders, pop stars, cultural figures, sports stars, characters, TV stars, Bollywood stars, and Royals. Some of the figures you may see are Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Aniston, Barack Obama, Princess Diana, Shah Rukh Khan, Sofia Vergara, Carmelo Anthony, Albert Einstein and even Spider-Man.

Making these life-like models is not an easy task. To start, hundreds of measurements are taken from the actual celebrity or public figure to ensure that they have the correct proportions in place. The sculptors then use clay to form the mold. Once the mold is set, molten wax is poured into it. Once the wax figure is set and the mold is taken off, the fine details are put in place including, hair, skin tone, make-up, etc. Overall, the process takes up to four months to create a single wax figure. However, once the wax figure is complete, some may have a hard time determining whether it is the actual person or the wax figure!

Since becoming a staple in London, Madame Tussauds has expanded to 18 other locations throughout the world. They now have museums in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Blackpool, Hollywood, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, Prague, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington D.C., Wien, and Wuhan. Each location features hundreds of wax figures. Some of the wax figures may be seen in multiple locations and others are tailored for their location.

For over 200 years, the sculptors at Madame Tussauds have been making these incredible works of art. If you love celebrities or other public figures, this is the museum for you to check out! Also, if you think you know your celebrity knowledge, test your knowledge with the fun new trivia game, Celebrity Guess!

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The Science of Additive Art

Art is not all creativity and divine inspiration — it can also be math and science. Process art is becoming increasingly popular as more artists are using additive techniques to create works drawn not just from inner creativity, but using procedures as well. The process is common, though not well known, in many creative fields — music composition, sound synthesis, sculpture, and painting.

What is additive art?

The main question for those who aren’t familiar with additive art is, of course: What is additive art? The most basic answer is part of the word “additive”: it’s a process of creation where you start with nothing (or very little) and add onto it gradually. In sound synthesis, additive synthesis is a common technique: you start with a simple sine, triangle, or other wave, and you begin adding more waves and resonances on top of it until you have something whole and completely new. In sculpture, rather than beginning with a block of granite (a subtractive process) you begin with one material — clay, for instance — and add onto it until the project is complete.

You can find simple metaphor in something like the 2048 game. You begin with just a couple small numbers and add them together. 2 goes with 2, you get 4. Put a 4 with another 4, you make an 8, and so on. You build the numbers until either your board is full (your sculpture is about to topple) or you’ve reached your goal of getting a 2048 tile (your work feels completed). In some cases, the game or sculpture is a clearly defined pattern which you can quantify. In others, like this painting or this 2048 spin-off, the patterns aren’t so obvious.

The point is that you start with something small — a number, a design, a material — and build until you have something completely new.

Types of Additive Art

Painting

If you think about it, painting is by nature an additive art form, though the process behind the work may not be additive. Adding red paint to blue paint gives you purple, and you keep mixing in colors until you get the exact shade you want. Putting the paint on canvas is also an additive process — you don’t start with a full block of paint and chip away at it, like you would with a sculpture.

But this definition of additive is very broad. More specifically, it’s the intent of the painter. The painter who has a full landscape image in his mind and sets to paint it is not using an additive process. However, an abstract painter who doesn’t plan out the entire painting may choose to paint a pattern here, add something there, and keep on doing this until he or she has covered the entire canvas multiple times, resulting in an amalgam of colors and patterns.

Sculpture

via art3djjavs.blogspot.com

Sculpture is generally thought of as a subtractive process. You start with a block of granite, marble, or stone, and you chip away at it. You start with a general shape, then gradually get into the fine details. Some types of sculptures, however, are built from the ground up using an additive process. Ceramic works are shaped by hand, adding clay and molding them; the same is true with handmade pots and other dishware. Paper crafts and abstract sculpture are also generally made using additive processes, starting with a small piece of material and adding to it in different shapes and with different materials.

There are just the basics of additive art, but hopefully you’ll know where to go from here. As with any art form, there is a lot left to learn, so keep learning!

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Sports Can Be Artistic Too: The Art Behind Sports Logos

Sports are an essential part of our day-to-day experience. Even if you don’t like sports, you can’t help but hear others talking about them. They play a huge role in the media we consume and are a source of enjoyment and pride for millions of people all over the world. Sporting events like the Super Bowl, the World Cup, and the Olympics are some of the most watched and followed affairs of the year. Yet there is one aspect of our lives that sports don’t really touch: art.

From an early age, a distinction is drawn between those who like art and those who play sports. One is considered a more personal and introspective activity, while the other is portrayed as more interdependent and extroverted. As we become older, this gap grows wider and wider until both parties are completely incompatible with one another.

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However, one glance at the multitude of sports logos out there is enough to convince us that the distinctions made between sports and art are unfounded. To simply see logos as commercial brands concerned only with the sell of merchandise is to miss the true spirit of sports. A great logo not only brands a team, it encompasses its whole history. They are symbols for everything the team has lost and accomplished over its long history. Consider the intertwined “N” and “Y” made famous by the New York Yankees. This is by far one of the most recognizable images in all of sports, not because of the success of its team, but because its simple aesthetic captured the soul of an entire enterprise.

In a way, sports logos are the bridge between sports and the arts. After all, they share many similarities with the art you see in museums and private galleries. They not only have to conform to the goals of their franchises and benefactors, but they have to capture the interest and imagination of their highly critical fans. Both traditional pieces of arts and sports logos strive to achieve that special, universal quality that will immortalize them for future generations. As Todd Radom, a graphic designer responsible for many American sports logos, put it in an interview at bizofbaseball.com: “sports logos are utilized in a staggering variety of ways, and need to be constructed in such a way that they can translate seamlessly across every conceivable platform.”

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So the next time you’re watching a football game or sending your kid off to Little League, take a moment to appreciate the incredible amount of work and artistry that goes into them. And if you want to learn more about sports logo art and test your knowledge on it, try this game on for size.

Featured image via sodahead.com

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The 6 Most Amazing Works of Art… Made Out of Food

Masterpiece Morsels

What is art? Some say it is a physical manifestation of expression. Others say it is a method of communication like a yodel or the sound of a bird’s wings defying the very air with rebellious flaps. Alas, to define such an elusive construct is to create art itself, for interpretation can be considered art. However, there was one bastion left in the known universe that pretty much everyone agreed was not art, and that was food. Now even that’s been thrown to the wind. Check out these acts of love and hate and tremble. Tremble at the audacity of man!

Watermelon Shark


A shark carved from a “water” melon. Notice the correlation between this aquatic melon and the aquatic creature it now resembles. While the image is obviously not alive, it is also fraught with impermanence. After all, this very shark looking object was once a simple melon! Upon the next glance will it become a full living shark? In life nothing is knowable.

Chewbacca Noodles


The Star Wars character “Chewbacca” the wookie is an outcast. A pariah. A friend. He travels for many years with only the company of his human companion Han Solo to bring a pleased gurgle to his throat from time to time. Han often refers to Chewbacca as “Chewy”, a degradation of the proud Kashyyk language. Chewbacca is brought lower once again in this clownish noodled form. How much longer must he suffer? How long… until revolution?

Sleeping Bear Egg


This rice bear sleeps on a cold plate, with nothing to warm his bones but a meager egg blanket. This piece is a relic of the Great Depression in many ways. With the squalid Hoovervilles forcing men, women, and children to live in the manner of cartoon bears, oftentimes without even an egg blanket to cover their despair. There is still ketchup on your hands, ghost of President Coolidge!

Chocolate Keyboard


Let me just type up an email quickly on this– WAITAMINUTE?!

Octopizza


A pizza is an unhealthy substance from which to gain nutrition, and yet it has crept its way into our lifestyles, into the minds of our very children through the power of media brainwashing. Oh Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles love pizza, and they’re certainly fit specimens. Why don’t I enjoy a pizza, it will make me fit? This pizza in the shape of an octopus, an animal that provides a healthy treat for all, reflects the deception of every day life, and the lies of those we give our trust.

McDonalds Aquatic


Contrary to popular opinion this image shows a french fry crab, not a french fry spider. It approaches the ketchup packet with a stance that is alien, yet honest and true. It defies the encryption of the spider’s lore: a hall decked in shadows, fear, and lust for blood. Yet it still yearns for the ketchup packet. The lesson here? Desire is eternal.

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‘Art Is for Everybody': The Life and Work of Keith Haring

It’s hard to think of a contemporary artist who’s had more of an impact on American culture than Keith Haring. Born on May 4th, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania, Haring’s artistic skill was evident from a very early age. He was captivated by the drawings of illustrators like Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney, and these influences can be seen in a great deal of his adult work. Although simple and cartoonish, his drawings were often highly symbolic and imbued with deep political meaning, tackling issues pertaining to race, sexuality, class, and drug culture.

via subwayartblog.com

However, his art was never inaccessible; he wanted his work to communicate with everyone, not just the stuffy art crowds, and it’s easy to see this desire in his bold, youthful style. Throughout his short career, Haring devoted much of his time to cultivating a truly “public” art. From 1982 to 1989 he produced more than 50 public artworks in dozens of cities around the world. He famously tagged images all over the NYC subway system after moving there in 1978.

Haring used these spaces to contend with the difficult and taboo issues of the 80s, such as sexuality. Much of his work featured human forms in strange and twisted positions and explored how the human body was enriched, threatened, and manipulated by sex and desire. Another big focus of Haring’s work was the AIDS crisis. As an openly gay man, Haring had a vested interest in the rights of the LGBT community, and some of his best work directly confronted the repression AIDS victims suffered in the 1980s. “Silence=Death” is perhaps the most well-known of these pieces.

via flickr.com

 

Unfortunately, Haring succumbed to the same illness he spoke out for in 1990. Although he died far too young, Haring’s work has gone on to have a rich and diverse afterlife, one that continues to nurture and inspire artists today.

Featured image via pcpmedia.us

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The Art Behind ‘Titanfall’

Art can be brought to life on many different platforms – Canvas, walls, buildings, paper, and even through computers. Though on a computer it does not require a variety of spray paint cans, buckets of paint, oils, and other contraband, computers have the power to bring art to life and onto video games.

Take the highly anticipated Titanfall release for example. The game has already received a stounding amount of gaming awards and worldwide recognition. And Andy McVittie’s new book “The Art of TitanFall,” allows fans inside and exclusive insight to the all the visual developments and stages of the production that went into the art of Titanfall.

The Art of Titanfall provides game lovers, developers, artists, and art enthusiasts a perspective of the amount of time, effort and dedication that goes into the art and design of a video game. The Art of Titanfall is a book worth expanding your mind on the world of art and video games, and how they transcends.

And for all the latest info, guides and walkthroughs, checkout the Titanfall cheats and guides!

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Emoji Inspires Artist

We’ve seen emojis present in all form of technological communication. Emojis are found on iPhone and Androids, but we’re now beginning to see them in emails, tweets, instagrams, and facebook. It’s gotten so popular that even the White House is beginning to use them, too!

But Artist Liza Nelson has now presented a new idea for emojis and how they can be used…to inspire art!

On Nelson’s website, she documents her various sculptures that are inspired by what Apple’s emojis look like–but only if they were physical.

Nelson believes that these emojis are something both “personal and “universal.” She writes, “Emojis mean everything and they mean nothing at the same time. They’re the best thing that ever happened to our generation. They deserve to be observed and worshiped individually. By finding, posing and sculpting emojis in real life I’ve created a set of shrines to the individual characters. Because somebody had to.”

Bottom line – Nelson puts emojis into the forefront of art. Showing that even new-found technology and communication can inspire a rare, and avant-garde type of canvas.

And now there is a game that aims to do the same thing–but in the form of communication. Guess the Emoji is going to test how well you can understand the communication of emojis! And here you will find all the Guess the Emoji answers!

Feature image: Liza Nelson

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Robert Smithson and the 1970s Land Art Movement

The early 1970s bore witness to one of the more fascinating and revolutionary movements in contemporary art: Land Art, or “Earthworks”. Land art was a direct response to the more artificial and plastic art installations of the 1960s. Artists no longer wanted their works to exist in the commercial and sterile space of the museum. Instead, land artists worked with the environment, using natural materials such as bed rock, water, soil, and other organic media to transform physical landscapes into works of art.

The beauty of these pieces lied in their ephemeral nature. Unlike works of art enclosed in museums, land sculptures were completely subject to the changes and fluctuations of their environment. Some of them, especially those composed in desert ecosystems, no longer exist due to the effects of erosion. Those that still exist today have changed a great deal since their inception. Years and years of wind, rain, and fluctuations in temperature have caused these sculptures to not only morph into new designs, but become part and parcel of their ecosystems.

Sylvain Meyer via inhabitat.com

Of the land artists, no one was more popular or influential than Robert Smithson. A New Jersey native, Robert Smithson was one of the foremost leaders of the land art movement and he worked tirelessly to promote its many virtues. His fascination with New Jersey’s urban decay and industrial areas led him to question the dynamic relationship between human beings and the spaces they inhabit. In his art, Smithson took these dilapidated industrial sites and used organic materials to create massive, archetypal sculptures that were infused with historical meaning, such as spirals, mounds, and circles.

Smithson’s most famous work of art was the Spiral Jetty, a 1,500-foot-long coil of mud, basalt rocks, salt crystals, and water located on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake, in Utah. There are many times of the year when the sculpture cannot be seen because it is submerged in water. It took about 6 days for Smithson to construct.

Spiral Jetty, via robertsmithson.com

Unfortunately, Smithson died in 1973 from injuries sustained during a plane crash. His death was a huge loss for the land art movement, and the absence of his influence and presence led to the decline of public interest in land art. Although the movement may have faded away in the 1970s, it has recently experienced a growth in interest and popularity as global climate changes and growing commercialism force us to meditate on the ways in which we interact with the world around us.

Featured image via Wikipedia.org

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Artists that Define the ’80s

Jean Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol were pioneers in the Pop Art and Neo-expressionism movements of the 80’s. Both Basquiat and Warhol single-handedly revolutionized the art world, and are in the constant thoughts of many who love the 80’s and art.

Jean Michel Basquiat was a Brooklyn born artist that began his career in art by spray painting graffiti around New York City streets. Basquiat’s art centered around power structures, racism, class struggles, and many other social and moral in-justices. His art revolutionized a movement in the 80’s that left a massive foot print on the 80s.

Even after Jean Michel Basquiat’s death in 1988, his art defined not only the decade of the 80’s, but continues to be a major influence in today’s world of painting and art.

Andy Warhol is no stranger to Jean Michel Basquiat. The two were such good friends that when Andy Warhol died, Basquiat went into a whirl of depression, and subsequently overdosed on heroin.

Warhol is another iconic figure who’s art defined the 80’s. Between his work of Marilyn Monroe and the infamous Campbell’s Soup work, Andy Warhol’s work and his memorable quotes that go with it like “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” or “I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.”

It is because of both Jean Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol that we remember not just the incredible work they did in the 80’s, but how their work continues to remind us of that great decade, and how it continues to inspire.

And now there is an app game that reminds us about the 80’s, too! Guess the 80’s is here to bring back that loving feeling the 80’s gave you! And here you will find the best Guess the 80’s cheats!

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