Art that is seen, but never known

Over the past year during the pandemic, the number of television interviews on the news or otherwise that took place remotely increased greatly, for obvious reasons. All of these interviewees, posing in their homes, allowed them to “curate” their background, not unlike how one chooses what a Zoom call background might be. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of interviews where the person is standing in front of a bookcase, so that all of the television viewers can see what books and various objects are on the shelves, which gives visual clues about that person.

I’ve taken more interest in how many people now seem to be posing in front of art works. It’s clear by the way they pose themselves in relation to the art that they want the art to be seen, but we the viewers will never know who the artists are!

I have some tv screen shots here to show you what I mean … I’ve blurred out the subject’s faces, because I’d rather have you focus on the art and the way it’s presented, as opposed to who the person is. An interesting twist here below right is that while I’ve pixelated the face of the person, he’s posing in front of an art work that is a pixelated abstraction – I love it, but wish I knew who the artist was!

art on tv news

I’m curious about these keys, below left … what are those things? This guy clearly wants to show off his collection, but I wish I knew what they were. And below right, I’m intrigued by the image of a Frans Hals-like portrait of a Black woman wearing typical Dutch Golden Age fashion (with the starched collar). I’m assuming it’s a contemporary art work commenting on 16th Century Dutch painting, but wish I could learn more about it.

tv interview art background

Two more examples below – in this case, both are pretty bold visual abstractions, and in both cases, I think the background visually overpowers the person being interviewed – how do you look at the person’s face when you have this bold painting to look at instead?

unknown art in background

If – by chance – anyone out there knows the artists or can provide any info on these art works, please share in the comments section below!

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