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One man’s trash

The mere mention of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art can make us feel uneasy. Such distinctions are often branded as pretentious and as the work of the elitist in their desperate attempts to preserve tradition and exclude diversity within the literary canon.

Interview: Bendor Grosvenor

The art historian and presenter on restoration, vanity and Old Masters

Chemical Contrast

It is effectively government policy that the science student is fundamentally more socially valuable than the artist. Resistance to this mode of thinking...

Rebellion and Art

Picture a circle of people holding hands, dancing around. Nothing particularly remarkable about that, right? Now imagine half of them as skeletons.

The revolution turn-over

The thing about self-consciously revolutionary art, however, is that it rarely has a particularly long shelf-life. Perhaps this remains most obvious in pieces that are pragmatically revolutionary; demonstration posters, graffiti, propaganda. Things like Guerrilla Girls and posters of Johnson and Trump’s lovechild are destined – designed, even – to become quickly dated.

William Blake

William Blake was never the artist he wanted to be, nor the one we want him to be. As with all the great Romantics,...

Antony Gormley at the RA

A new-born baby is lying naked on the ground in the crisp September air. Some stride nonchalantly past her, while others stop and instinctively stroke her smooth body, as though trying to shield her from the elements.

Sensational: The Power of Synesthesia

Synesthesia is a hugely rare cross-sensory condition - and yet features in some of our most famous canonical works. How can we ever understand the experience of a synesthete?

Art in the Age of Technology

Imagine the future. You walk into a room expecting an art gallery. Instead, you come face to face with a baron white cubicle. A woman stands in the corner, holding a pair of VR glasses. She hands them to you. Puzzled, you put them on.

Disgust: When does shock equal art?

In his Critique of Judgement Kant alleges that the sensation of disgust alone produces a mental response so adverse to enjoyment, that the artistic...
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