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Fascinating Video Footage of Famous Artists at Work

Art in action! Sometimes, strolling through museums and galleries, one can disassociate the works from the artist, reducing them to pleasing pretty independent objects strung to walls, not the product of someone’s expression, labor, and intent. For that reason, please refer to our sparsely annotated, mini-clip-playlist of artists at work on their art. Watch Picasso delight himself by drawings flowers. See Yayoi Kusama scribble madly away. Behold Basquiat spray painting wisdom on the walls of downtown New York. Remind yourself that this all did not just come to be, but spilled, splattered, and flowed out of our visual art icons — and it didn’t always come easy.

This is Claude Monet, captured in the summer of 1915 by Sacha Guitry. In his beloved Giverny garden, the 74-year-old dons all white, swiping at the sunlit canvas with a swagger, a cigarette bobbing from the corner of his mouth. Little did it show that he had recently lost his wife and son, and was losing his eyesight to cataracts. He was suffering, but he was extremely prolific. He had lilies to paint.

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