Art in the Comfort of Your Home

Don’t let the predicted NYC “Blizzard 2015” deter you from seeing art. Most museums now have their collections online and with the Google Art Project you can view collections from around the world; create your own personalized gallery; or find artists that you like.

There are also a variety of films and talks you can watch that provide an in-depth look at an artist — their work and their process. Here are some to consider that I’ve really enjoyed.


Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress (You Tube) — documentary that explores Close’s inspiring life story while showcasing his creative and exciting portraits.

Gerhard Richter Painting (Netflix streaming) —  Richter’s creative process juxtaposed with intimate conversations and rare archival material. You can watch Richter create a series of large-scale abstract canvasses, using fat brushes and a large squeegee to apply (and then scrape off) layer after layer of paint.

Waste Land: Vik Muniz (DVD) — Filmed at the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz  photographs a group of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. In the end, he partners with them to recreate photographic images of themselves out of the collected garbage.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture (Amazon Prime Instant Video) — Filmed over 3 years it captures David Hockney’s return from California to his native Yorkshire. H is shown painting outside through the seasons and in all weathers.

Ai Wewei: Never Sorry  (Netflix streaming)– a portrait of China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic.  Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. The movie shows his work and how the Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.


NYC-ARTS is a program which airs weekly on a local PBS station — Channel 13 or 21 — but can be viewed online as well. Many of the programs focus on exhibits at local museums and feature talks by curators. A recent program featured Paula Zahn in conversation with Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow, the curators of the exhibition “Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection,” which is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

TED Talks

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.  You can search “art” topics on the TED Talks website and find a wide range of talks. I especially enjoyed “Art with wire, sugar, chocolate and string,” a talk by Brazilian artist, Vik Muniz.

Do you have a favorite movie, program or talk about or with an artist? Share the link and I’ll add it to the list.