Category Archives: Featured

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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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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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‘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.

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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.

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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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Van Gogh and Wood’s Farm Paintings

While seemingly obscure – farms and farm life are portrayed by some of the most famous artists and painters in the world. Through their rural design and outpouring of color landscapes, painters accurately portray a visual sense of country and farm life–causing a mass sense of emotion, and interlocking physical and emotional sensation that only artist’s touch can bring to life.

Artists like Grant Wood and Vincent van Gogh accurately capture the notion of every sense of sight farms and farm life has to offer. Farm life has played an intricate part in not only American history, but for countries all around the world. Farms are the epicenter of how economies and trade started; they grow life and continue on the circle of life for all humans.

Van Gogh always captured the detail of the rural/rawness of land and everything that was complied around it; quaint houses; animals spread around the land; the crops growing, and the beautiful country sky that allows the farm to be at its best.

And Wood, who’s American Gothic portrait of a farmer and his wife, will forever be etched in our minds–when we think about the world of crops, land, and countryside. While highly recognized as satirical piece, held in the famous Art Institvte Chicago, American Gothic has gained serious notoriety as being one of the single biggest pieces of art to signfy Pop Culture.

Now there is a game that pays homage to farmers and their intense labor–in a way that is other than art. Farm Heroes Saga is a new game by King.com, where users must collect certain crops to pass and beat levels, while facing various obstacles along the way. And here you will find all the Farm Heroes cheats and info you need.

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The Museum of the City of New York- “City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection”

Originally born in San Francisco, Martin Wong moved to New York City in the late 1970s during the big graffiti boom. He was both a graffiti art collector and an artist himself, painting in the East Village art scene. Though he passed away 15 years ago, he endowed his extensive collection to the Museum of the City of New York in 1994, with work from prominent artists in this movement including Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, Lady Pink, and Futura 2000.

The exhibition will run through August 24th, displaying close to 150 original drawings, paintings and sketchbooks, as well as photographs of works that have long been removed from the streets of New York City. These pieces come from one of the largest collections of New York street art, each speaking their own story in a electrifying way, uniquely cultivated by the conditions from which it was created.

Though mainstream New York’s fascination of graffiti faded with time, James Wong’s passion for this art form persisted and in 1989, he opened his own Museum of American Graffiti on Bond Street. Although this endeavor of his remained open for just a short 6 months, the resurgence of Wong’s collection in the Museum of the City of New York today speaks to the vivacious resilience of the nature of graffiti.

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A-One, “Untitled” (1984)

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Lady Pink, “The Death of Graffiti” (1982)

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Lee Quiñones, “Howard the Duck” (1988)

Featured image by Zephyr, “Untitled” (1984)
All images courtesy The Museum of the City of New York