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Staged Realities


TUESDAYS  -  9:00pm and WEEKENDS - 11:00am

Berlin / NY / Shanghai Time

In March 2017 on Internet stream, SmartTV app, AppleTV.
Or watch it anytime on
ikono On Demand

Painting can always be considered a "staged reality": the artist chooses the composition of his figures and objects, placing them carefully in a balanced and meaningful relationship to the surface of his canvas, like actors on a stage.

We start our playlist precisely with this metaphor: the theatre, a subject that has always fascinated artists throughout the ages. We continue with works of art that most strongly feel "staged": the "Meninas" by Velazquez is the perfect example of an artist apparently depicting a fleeting moment but in reality carefully composing each figure in such a way as to tell a complete and complex story.

Courbet's "Desperate Self Portrait" is also the closest an artist can get to being an actor! In contrast, the "Milkmaid" by Vermeer is a very peaceful depiction of everyday life, but if one looks carefully one realizes how Vermeer has composed each detail with great attention to achieve this restraint scene.

Historical paintings are also a perfect example of staged realities, often with an allegorical imagery chosen to support ideological beliefs. See for example Delacroix's iconic "Liberty Leading the People". But also Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" or Gerome's fantasy images of antiquity are good examples of how artists used their craft to tell a story.

In Botticelli's "Story of Nastagio" the paintings become a set to a gruesome play in which the different times of the events are condensed into one single space.