There is a lot of pressure to better ourselves right now. All over the Internet people are showing off about the new hobbies they’ve taken up, the languages they’ve learnt and the courses that they are taking in quarantine. And to be honest, it’s making many of us feel anxious and inadequate. But trust me when I say that just getting out of bed during this crisis is a major achievement, so props to you. We have to admit though, the pressure to better ourselves right now is real. But, for many of us, our energy has dwindled and our attention-spans are non-existent. So, what can we do about that? Well my friends, that is where Ferren Gipson comes to the rescue! Because the host of the Art Matters Podcast host and all-round #girlboss is posting fun yet informative 2 minute videos on Twitter that will teach you about art history in easy, digestible chunks.
From Frida Kahlo to Georges Seurat, Ferren helps us learn all about some of the most important artworks in art history. Inspired by the hashtag #MuseumFromHome, which has been floating around Twitter for some time, Ferren decided to join in. “I’d already had it in my mind from the beginning of the year that I wanted to do some sort of video series”, says Ferren, “And this gave me an extra push.”
Amongst Ferren’s videos are clips dedicated to John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X and Edouard Manet’s Olympia. A personal fave is her film on John Everett Millais’ Ophelia, where Ferren – who is super likeable – explains how Millais asked Elizabeth Siddal to pose for the painting in the realest language you’ll ever here an art historian use: “Hey girl, come get in my bath-tub, and I’m going to paint you.”
“I look for artworks that have an interesting story surrounding them”, says Ferren, “I want to pick an artwork that almost tells its own story if you know what to look for, and I hope to leave viewers feeling like they can better understand what’s happening within the scene.”
You can follow all of Ferren’s art historical films on Twitter, as well as in her monthly newsletter Object.
Text Lizzy Vartanian