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Art in Television Shows

Updated on February 13, 2015

Van Gogh Irises

Van Gogh Irises
Van Gogh Irises


With the recent released trailer of The Last Man on Earth, we get a good look at fine art, within the world of television. Throughout history, the best TV shows have incorporated works of art into their shows. This was even incorporated, during the period of black and white television, even though the painted were much more difficult to appreciate. Do you notice these types of pictures, paintings and works of art, when watching your favorite movies or shows?

Addition to the Story

There are several shows, which use these works, within the plot or story. For instance, In the Flesh shows paintings, which are seemingly created, by the show's main character. On the other hand, you should check out Orphan Black, which uses this technique frequently, as one of the main characters is always painting and working on his artworks. Even the Australian crime drama, Underbelly, delved into the world of art, with the Terry Clark figure.

Are they distracting?

Let's face it. Sometimes the major cable networks produce and air shows, which aren't compelling. When watching these types of shows, we get the chance to see works of art on the walls of the character's homes. Can these works become distracting? I've often found myself staring at the paintings and completely ignoring the words coming from the actors and actresses.

Orphan Black Art Work

Orphan Black
Orphan Black

Captivating, When Carefully Placed

Of course, a well placed piece of art can work like a well played song, when it comes to setting the mood in a television show or movie. A bleak painting can perfectly emphasize the mood of the scene or the current emotions experienced by the characters. On the other hand, it is possible to captivate the viewer, by having the actors speak, while staking among a painting, which contains complimentary colors, which attract the viewer's eye.


All in all, I absolutely love observing the paintings and fine art, which is prominently displayed in television shows and movies. Although they might be a little distracting, it is still nice to see this form of expression receiving attention and respect!


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