YouTube Favorites #3: Art Deco
Art Deco reviews and analyzes paintings. She explains the context around the subject of the piece and its author, examines the artwork from different angles, and gives various interpretations.
The narration is playful and fun. Art Deco’s videos are short, usually less than 10 minutes. She isn’t one of those boring and stuffy art historians, she makes the art form pop. There’s a good portion of memefication and references to various expressive paintings that underline the subject matter. The videos are entertaining and usually amusing. Tragic paintings are also tactfully covered, in fact the sorrowful artworks videos are my favorites. Art Deco covers mostly paintings with feminine themes.
Thanks to this YouTube channel’s humor, sensibility, and passion, I discovered numerous masterpieces I want copies of for my place. It gave me a better appreciation for art without ever being boring and stuffy. Her eagerness to share her emotions and knowledge about the world’s loveliest canvases is contagious.
If I can’t watch new releases right away, I’ll add them to my watch later list to make sure I don’t miss them.
Here are some of my favorite clips:
Anguish by August Friedrich Schenck
A tragic painting where a mother sheep protects her dead lamb lying at her feet in the snow. The sheep looks distressed and desperate, it’s surrounded by crows that contrast beautifully with the white of the snow and the sheep. A beautiful and intense view of life.
Stańczyk by Jan Matejko
Painting of a famous jester wearing a bright red outfit. Art Deco goes over the political and human situation around this portrait, enriching greatly the meaning surrounding this masterpiece. She brings the jester’s distress to life.
The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit by John Singer Sargent
This piece uncovers the melancholic life of four girls from a materially wealthy family, and reveal their human and social destitution. The plush environment cannot hide the girls’ hollow life. That painting is a great social critique that Art Deco describes superbly.
Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez
A world famous portrait by Velázquez, who is rightly considered one of the greatest painters to have graced this world. His paintings are realistic and yet his technique appears raw compared to the artists of his time. Behind the wealth and the prestige, he gives us a glimpse of a dire reality.
The Unequal Marriage by Vasili Pukirev
The title says it all: a distraught bride marries an affluent old man. The commentary describes how the artist made this masterpiece out of spite, and gives us a better view of how such union could have taken place.
The Lunatic of Étretat by Hugues Merle
A strange looking portrait of a woman holding a wood log dressed as a baby, madly staring at the viewer. Combining madness and motherhood makes this piece troubling, weird, and powerful.
All the videos on the list are about tragic subjects, but there are also many fun and positive paintings covered. Go check Art Deco’s work, it is nutrition for your soul.