Saturday, June 1, 2013

Classic TV Shows about Art

One of the latest additions to my studio has been my TV/DVD player. In addition to using it as a monitor, I'm also using it to show different videos that relate to the themes of my art on it during open studios. This month and next month I will be showing classic TV shows for the first time. All of the shows will have one thing in common: an art-driven plot.
While not as common as the clip show or the bottle episode, programs that feature a character trying to become an artist or purchasing a work of art are common enough that I have been able to amass a small collection. Here are some of the ones I'm broadcasting:

"The Hot Minerva," 1961
Two sophisticated thieves scheme to steal an ancient Greek statue from a museum whose very devoted curator would do anything to save it.

The Dick Van Dyke Show
"October Eve," 1964
Laura Petrie is scandalized when a painting that she posed for goes on display at a popular New York art gallery. Though she had posed fully clothed, the artist painted her head on a nude body.


McHale's Navy
"Piazza Binghamtoni," 1965
During his time in an occupied Italian town during World War II, mischievous McHale schemes to have a statue made in honor of his superior, Captain Binghamton, in order to get his friend Ensign Parker out of the brig.

The Dick Van Dyke Show
"Draw Me a Pear," 1965
Rob and Laura Petrie take an art class together. When Rob is offered private lessons at the beautiful instructor's home studio in Greenwich Village, Laura gets very jealous.

Honey West
"Pop Goes the Easel," 1966
Glamourous detective Honey West takes the case of a pop artist whose soup can art has been stolen.

The Monkees
"Art for Monkees' Sake," 1967
Crooked museum guards want to take advantage of bass player/artist Peter's painting skills by having him forge a famous painting.

Sanford and Son
"Tower Power," 1974
When he sees some assemblage art made of scrap metal during a museum tour with his son Lamont, Los Angeles rummage store proprietor Fred Sanford is so inspired that he makes a tower from the junk he's supposed to be selling.

Good Times
"The Art Contest," 1979
Emerging Chicago artist J.J. Evans hopes to win a local art contest so that he will get more students to sign up for the private art lessons he teaches. When his student's painting is mistakenly entered into the contest under J.J.'s name, he is faced with an ethical dilemma.

"Art Work," 1980
Cab driver/gallerina Elaine Nardo tries to help her fellow drivers earn extra money by investing in the work of a dying artist when it comes up for auction.

The Simpsons
"Mom and Pop Art," 1998
Nuclear power plant worker Homer Simpson's failed attempt at a weekend home improvement project is hailed as exciting new outsider art by a local gallery. Has he found his true calling in life?

I will also show some art-related clips from an assortment of shows and movies. I've got Punky Brewster painting her bedroom (so bright her adoptive father has to put on sunglasses when he sees it), Lieutenant Columbo trying to understand the contemporary art of the late 1970's, Detective David Addison making some accidental sculptures during one of the crazy car chases Moonlighting was known for, Ferris Bueller and his friends stopping by the Art Institute on their day off, a teen artist named Craig overcoming his perfectionism and learning to follow his muse in It's Kind of a Funny Story, Agent J making a stunning discovery about Andy Warhol when he goes back in time in Men In Black 3, and scenes from biopics about Frida Kahlo, Basquiat, and Van Gogh.
And what would television be without commercials? Every commercial break is going to feature commercials for my art. Are there any other TV show episodes worth including? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

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