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The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and has the largest collection of art in Central Texas.


Pablo Picasso draws a chicken

A scene from Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Mystery of Picasso:


At Clouzot’s invitation, Picasso made a series of works in a studio in Nice, using ink markers designed to bleed through the surface so the strokes are visible from behind. Clouzot and his cinematographer, Claude Renoir (a nephew of the filmmaker Jean Renoir and the grandson of the painter Auguste), using a time-lapse camera, filmed from behind the easel as the artist worked on the pictures, which were destroyed at the end of production. When the film is projected, the paintings magically emerge from the void onscreen. For collages and canvases painted with standard oils, a stop-motion camera was used: the canvas was photographed from the front after each brush stroke, again giving rise to the illusion that the artwork generates itself as we watch.

The chicken painting scene from above was a last-minute addition:

”I’m enjoying this — I could keep going all night!” the painter exclaims when Clouzot asks him if he’s up for painting a quickie using the five minutes’ worth of film that remains in the camera. Thus begins the most entertaining segment of the film, in which Picasso paints a bouquet of flowers that he spontaneously reconceives first as a fish, then as a chicken, while Clouzot counts off the remaining time as if he were the announcer on an artistic version of ”Iron Chef.”



The Bushmans Kloof rock art site in the Cederberg region of South Africa.

Recently awarded the status of a South African National Heritage Site, Bushmans Kloof contains over 130 rock art sites, some of which date to 10,000 years before present.

Stained with oxide pigments, these rocks depict the spiritual and cultural legacy of the San (also known as Bushmen), who have lived in these mountains for some 120,000 years. A particular point of interest about this rock art for some is the depictions of about 30 Cape mountain zebra, which are today endangered, with only about 1,200 remaining worldwide. Antelopes such as the eland, black wildebeest, and springbok are also depicted.

Recommended reading & food for thought: ‘Access to Rock Art Sites: A Right or a Qualification?’ By Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu iThe South African Archaeological Bulletin, Vol. 64, No. 189 (June 2009), pp. 61-68

Photos taken by mlaaker. The contrast and tone of the original images have been readjusted. 


Gustave Caillebotte - The Floor Scrapers (1875-6)

Original on top, later version below

"Despite the effort Caillebotte put into the painting, it was rejected by France’s most prestigious art exhibition, The Salon, in 1875. The depiction of working-class people in their trade, not fully clothed, shocked the jurors and was deemed a ‘vulgar subject matter.’ 

The images of the floor scrapers came to be associated with Degas’s paintings of washerwomen, also presented at the same exhibition and similarly scorned as ‘vulgar’”.

(via post-impressionisms)

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