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Review: Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits @ The Royal Academy of Arts

This winter the Royal Academy of Arts has exhibited Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits. The collection of portraits ranges from his early career in 1940, to his most recent work in 2001. This masterfully curated exhibition focuses on the self and demonstrates how Freud’s painting style has changed and matured over time. The exhibition progresses from his early surrealist painting, to his later brutally realist work, exposing the frailty of his aged body. The style of his portraits is striking and contradictory as Freud resists being exposed and “known”, he hides in his paintings, yet also maintains intrigue as the subject of the portrait. Continue reading Review: Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits @ The Royal Academy of Arts

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Review: ‘Inspired By The East: how the Islamic world influenced western art’ @ the British Museum

The exhibition runs at the British Museum until 26 January 2020 (£12 for student concessions).

If you happen to be in London over the Christmas break, I would really recommend making a trip to this exhibition. The exhibition was laid out skilfully as you would expect from the British Museum, yet it is still worth carefully choosing your time to attend. Ideally go early or late so you have a chance to get close to the artefacts and are able to double back and see things in light of later objects. Some of the first things you see are drawings of Ottoman costumes which still have the vivacity of a contemporary sketch by a designer. These drawings work in brilliant concord with the later portraits. These draw on Ottoman models or are drawn from life. One particular portrait which stood out to me was of Sir Robert Sherley, by Anthony van Dyck, which shows an Elizabethan gentleman who was also the envoy to the Papal court for Shah Abbas I of Persia. As such you can see how complex identity can be and how fashion, as a form of art, expresses culture and social affiliations. Continue reading Review: ‘Inspired By The East: how the Islamic world influenced western art’ @ the British Museum

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Frost on Film: Le Mans ’66

In some ways James Mangold’s latest directorial outing is a rare breed as we are not often treated to films about racing cars and the drivers inside. Since the release of Rush in 2013, there hasn’t been anything particularly comparable in cinemas, that is, until now. Le Mans ’66 serves almost as the spiritual cousin to Rush, delivering exhilaration, excitement and energy in spades, tracing the story of two men who fought to beat the odds and win an acclaimed international racing marathon. Continue reading Frost on Film: Le Mans ’66

From #ExcitableEdgar to the ‘Plug Boy’: The Best of Christmas Adverts

Thanks to the help of huge companies such as John Lewis, adverts have now become a staple of the festive period for many people. Cute animals, memorable songs and messages of friendship and unity – the recipe for Christmas advert success! Here is a list of my favourite Christmas adverts from over the past few years. Continue reading From #ExcitableEdgar to the ‘Plug Boy’: The Best of Christmas Adverts

Review: ‘Last Supper in Pompeii’ at the Ashmolean

The exhibition is well laid out, starting with a wider examination of the culture and reaching a highpoint as it showcases the objects of a Roman dining room, which is swiftly followed by a suitably confined space to show kitchen utensils and examples of food. This sense of flow continues throughout the majority of the exhibition, meaning that even when busy, it is not too difficult to see everything, and aspects of food and death are blended to give an idea of their links in Roman culture. The skilful curation and brilliant artefacts make this an exhibition that you’d be foolish to miss if you are in the region – or even worth a little train journey. Continue reading Review: ‘Last Supper in Pompeii’ at the Ashmolean

Bookstagram: Is There Purpose Behind the Pictures?

Say Instagram, and the first things that comes to mind are the influencers, advertisements and ‘perfect’ body aspirations. Yet, there is a new emerging corner that combines our aesthetically obsessed culture with the art of reading: bookstagram. Bookstagram is a relatively recent phenomenon which refers to accounts creating weird and wonderful displays of books they are reading and enjoying surrounded by an assortment of objects such as candles, feathers and the odd cup of artisan coffee. However, is this new facet of Instagram really worth your time? Continue reading Bookstagram: Is There Purpose Behind the Pictures?