A list of five random artworks. A starting point for a diverse and fulfilling exploration in the arts.
Lady Clementina Hawarden, photograph (c. 1862-3)
Lady Clementina Hawarden was a British noblewoman and passionate amateur photographer of the Victorian era. Her photography is celebrated today, more than for the glamorous wealth they capture, for their striking modern sensibilities, which makes it seem as if they had been taken way before their time.
Spike Lee, Bamboozled (2000)
One of the most eccentric of Spike Lee’s satirical comedies and yet, also one of his lesser-known movies. His modern-day re-visitation of the American minstrel tradition is also a disarmingly effective critique of modern television and consumerism at large – as well as a re-visitation of the concept that history has a tendency to repeat itself.
The Tornados, “Telstar” (1962)
A rare instance of an instrumental track reaching the top of the pop charts in its time, “Telstar” was inspired by the discourse in space exploration and pioneered many of the modern music production techniques. However, the song was accused of plagiarism and its mastermind, Joe Meek, would take his own life, tormented by money trouble and his own homosexuality, just a few years after its release.
George Cukor, Love Among the Ruins (1975)
The manifestation of a cinematic “what if” moment in the form of a forgottem made-for-TV movie. This George Cukor production is noted for co-starring Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier, two masters of their crafts. Although today it is largely forgotten, this period courtroom drama and romantic comedy is well-worth a look.
Jacob Lawrence, Ambulance Call (1948)
This tempera on board work depicts a Harlem street scene of a figure covered in a white sheet lifted onto an ambulance, surrounded by a crowd of spectators. This is one of the best-known works of Jacob Lawrence, who drew on French art and pioneered a unique style commonly referred to as “dynamic cubism.”