TV series art lovers? Let’s talk about! TV series have for years become one of my favorite pastimes and probably as for me it will be true for you too. One episode a day in the evening or maybe two, three, four when the series takes particularly are a habit for many of us. Seeing so many of them we obviously also develop preferences and there are some around for all tastes, even for art lovers. I’m Clelia and today I’m telling you about 3 art-themed TV series that you absolutely must watch.
Which art-themed TV series to choose
There are art-themed TV series, but far fewer than you might think. There are many Italian and foreign mini-series on the life of the artists. To be clear, these are those series in two/three episodes on a single artist that are broadcast on television with reconstructions and settings. They are often very nice and useful to learn more and spend a couple of evenings. The ones I want to tell you about today, however, are of a slightly different type, closer to the TV series we are used to outside the art world. In fact, I chose an art-themed detective story, a 10-episode miniseries on the life of an artist and a two-season miniseries for fans of good documentaries. Let’s begin!
3 Art themed TV series – 1. White Collar
When starting a new TV series the first few episodes are crucial, often the characterization of the characters, the setting and how long it will take us to continue seeing it will depend on them. For me it was love at first sight, indeed at the first episode with the first of today’s TV series: White Collar. It is certainly my favorite and with 6 seasons of three quarters of an hour each, I assure you that time flies.
White Collar – The plot
It is the story of Peter, an FBI agent of the White Collar division who deals with non-violent crimes, therefore scams, thefts and forgery, but not homicides, so to speak. And that one day he finds himself out of the blue having to collaborate with one of the criminals, a con artist that he himself has captured, Neal Caffrey. Thus begins a friendship with ups and downs to solve cases of art thefts in New York museums, forgery in art galleries, and more. Lots of interesting characters are introduced eg Peter’s wife is an art advisor or one of Neal’s girlfriends, and also one of my favorite characters I work in an art recovery insurance company.
White Collar – Jewellery, sculpture and contemporary art
Everything revolves around art in one way or another in almost every episode, sometimes it is jewellery, other drawings or large contemporary art sculptures. All always with the idea that it is a TV series so there are characterizations of the characters, the personal stories of love and friendship. It fascinated me so much that I have seen it more than once also because it gives a fairly truthful idea of the American art world. But also the organization of exhibitions and major art events. In some episodes there is talk of counterfeit works at auctions and in others of thefts during important exhibitions. Obviously it’s an art-themed detective story and for anyone who loves the genre it’s super recommended!
3 Art themed TV series – 2. Genius Picasso
I saw the second TV series this summer and if I remember correctly thanks to the advice in the comments of one of you so thank you very much because I really liked it. This is Genius of National Geographic and tells of the life of Pablo Picasso.
Each season of this TV series is dedicated to a character from art, science or history. For example the first season was about Albert Einstein, the second just about Picasso and the third apparently will be about Aretha Franklin.
Genius Picasso – The plot
The beauty of this TV series on Picasso is that the reconstruction of the story is masterful, that is, really down to the smallest detail, with the characterization of many characters from the world of art and literature. You experience Spain initially, then Paris. The early years, the development of many of the themes, the love stories. Truly a wonderful TV series and above all in 10 episodes therefore truly rich in history and stories. The adult Pablo Picasso is played by Antonio Banderas, but in general the cast is made up of well-known actors and actresses such as Poppy Delevingne who plays Marie-Thérèse Walter or Clémence Poésy who plays Françoise Gilot.
Genius – Picasso’s women
Paradoxically, the characters who in my opinion are best described in this TV series are precisely the women in Picasso’s life, who finally have their own space and are very well characterized. For example Dora Maar is a co-star in several episodes and also one of my favorite characters. But I’m biased because I love her works and her as a woman and photographer especially after the exhibition here at the Tate which I also told you about here on the channel.
So if White Collar is the perfect TV series if you are looking for fiction, the second season of Genius on Picasso is the perfect one if you are looking for a mix between entertainment and art history.
3 Art themed TV series – 3. Abstract
The third TV series I’m telling you about today is a completely different genre and it’s a series of mini documentaries related to the world of art and design. I’m talking about Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design. Beautiful series of documentaries related to many themes but all with the same common thread, the idea that design affects our lives in a thousand different ways. at the moment there are two seasons but each episode is autonomous so you can easily do like me and see the ones that intrigue you the most.
Abstract – Illustration with Christoph Niemann
My favorites of the first season are those related to illustration with Christoph Niemann, you follow him in his studio and even during the episode there are real animations on the screen designed by him. very intense and brings into the routine and mind in some ways of an artist like him who has also illustrated several covers of magazines such as the New Yorker.
Abstract – Graphic design with Paula Scher
Then again from the first season I recommend the episode on Graphic design with Paula Scher. If you don’t know her, a world will open up to you because she is one of the most influential American graphic designers and artists and she works with words and letters so she will let you enter this world where you will begin to review the writing around you with other eyes.
Abstract – Interior design with Ilse Crawford
To finish off the first season, I recommend the episode on Interior design with Ilse Crawford, a show! This is the first episode with which I started watching this series and I fell in love with it. Besides the photography itself which is gorgeous, the coolest part is that she explains the thought process that she consciously or unconsciously sometimes goes through in making her interior design choices.
Abstract – The works of Olafur Eliasson
Finally, for the second season of Abstract I give you only one piece of advice: the episode on Olafur Eliasson. If you have seen my video here on the channel about his exhibition at the Tate that we visited together, you know how important this artist is in my opinion for our society today. And also how much I care about his works. The abstract episode will immerse you in his world and in his creative process so we will follow him closely and you will see the birth of his installations with his own eyes.
The best thing about the first season of abstracts is that you can find the full episodes of 40 minutes each in the English version on the official Netflix YouTube channel. So you don’t necessarily have to have a subscription to be able to see the ones I just mentioned.
And if you liked this post in which I talk about the three unmissable TV series for art lovers, take a look at the my YouTube channel. I also recommend my video about best movies for art lovers or the one about best books for art lovers.
Thanks and see you next time!