Part of enjoying life is living for the moment, so don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed before you make a list of what you should’ve done. Life is happening now, so start ticking things off that bucket list.
Of course art is a matter of taste. What is considered true art by one person could seem like nothing more than a pre-schooler’s scribbles to another. But there are a great number of artworks out there that are widely considered to be genius in their execution. We chose eight of our favourites. We’ve no doubt that your bucket list will look a bit different from ours. If your favourite artwork was left off the list, why don’t you email us and tell us about it? Then we could put together a “reader’s selections” and feature it in a future issue.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
A bit obvious? Sure. But there is so much fuss over this painting that it couldn’t not be on the list. Easy to get to for people in Europe, but difficult to see once there. It is roped off so you can’t get near it, encased in glass so you can’t see it properly, and there are so many tourists making photographs. But worth the trip just to say you’ve done it.
See it at: Le Louvre, Paris
Guernica by Pablo Picasso
It portrays haunting caricatures of fallen civilians and those killed or injured during the Spanish Civil War. After Picasso finished the painting, it travelled from country to country, bringing the Spanish Civil War to the world’s attention. It was Picasso’s wish that the painting not travel to Spain until after peace had been restored in his homeland.
SEE IT AT: The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
TORQUED ELLIPSES BY R.SERRA
Working primarily with steel, Serra wanted to explore the way an artist could shape space rather than the medium at hand. He created his most well-known Torqued Ellipses series, which was inspired by the architecture of the San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. The massive sculptures are immersive and interactive.
SEE IT AT: Dia:Beacon, Beacon, New York
SISTINE CHAPEL CEILINGBY MICHELANGELO
Adorning the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, this work of art took four years to complete and was done between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling’s various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of decoration within the Chapel, which includes the large fresco, The Last Judgment.
SEE IT AT: Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
BALLOON DOG BY JEFF KOONS
Jeff Koons has garnered so much attention for his controversial artworks that it simply wouldn’t be right to pass through life without glimpsing one of his famous balloon dogs. These shiny metal sculptures mimic a clown’s balloon animals and, like Warhol’s soup cans, they are an embodiment of everything that the artist represents.
SEE IT AT: The Whitney Museum, New York
WOMEN ARE HEROES BY JR
JR installed this art project in Morra da Providencia, one of the most crime- and drug-ridden favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Instead of critiquing Brazil’s corrupt justice system, JR decided to focus on the favela’s true heroes: the women. The result? The diverse faces of Brazilian women plastered on the hills of the favela watching over Rio de Janeiro.
SEE IT AT: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
SOL LEWITT: A WALL DRAWING RETROSPECTIVE BY SOL LEWITT
Sol LeWitt became a pioneer of American Conceptual and Minimal art, claiming that “no one should be intelligent enough to know when not to be too intellectual.” His work ranges from simple to more complicated isometric forms that vary in energy depending the wall you were viewing.
SEE IT AT: MASS MOCA, North Adams, MA
DUSTHEADSBY JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT
Basquiat’s Neo-Expressionist work blew up the art market in 2013, beginning with a blow-out show at Gagosian Gallery. His work accurately critiques racism and class struggles while encompassing the grit of New York in the ‘80s. His work remains relevant for many contemporary artists. This artwork sold at a record-breaking price of $48.8 million.
SEE IT AT: Private Collection
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