Sunday, July 14, 2019

Watching people just like the Kardashians - in the past - in paintings!

I've just come across this Rijks Tube Video Why Vermeer would have loved The Kardashians in their Is This Art? series

It's very instructive and definitely worth a watch. 

crop of "The Love Letter" (De liefdesbrief) c. 1667–1670 by Johannes Vermeer
Oil on canvas, 44 x (17 3/8 x 15 1/8 in.)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
I've skipped the 2 minutes of endless pics of the Kardashians and set the video below to start when the 'host' highlights out how portraits in the past where exactly like watching the "lives of the rich and famous" - and how they dressed and what they owned and what they did.

The proposition is that in addition

  • daily life paintings show real life - and interiors - which can vary from the chaotic and risque to the calm and serene.
  • there are techniques used in Dutch paintings in the past which are still in use today - so that we feel as if....
    • we are invited in 
    • and/or are spying on people
  • we love watching other people because it helps us understand who we really are
So how come if the Kardashians and other 'reality shows' are so popular we see so few contemporary paintings which are reflecting on daily life?

Photographers frequently show daily life - but artists don't for some reason.

I wonder why!  Could it be the need to develop skills in painting more than one person? Possibly?
Welcome to Is This Art? Where we take a closer look at pop culture and try to answer the age old question: Is this art?