What would a museum of movies’ best artworks contain? The paintings slashed and splashed by The Joker (Jack Nicholson) in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989)? Bill Johnson’s (Jeff Daniels) Monet-meets-Thiebaud painting of Betty Parker (Joan Allen) reclining on his diner counter in Pleasantville (1998)? The mannequins devouring human heads in the installation that goes over Axel Foley’s (Eddie Murphy) head in Beverly Hills Cop (1984)? All of these and many, many more appear on the Tumblr blog Art in Film, which gathers memorable instances of art in cinema and television.
Unlike the blog Art in the Movies, which offers analysis of films’ portrayals of artists and the art world, Art in Film is strictly image-based. The site has been around for two years, and includes classics like the Miguel Calderón paintings from The Royal Tenenbaums and Ferris Bueller’s visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as more obscure fodder like the hideous approximation of a Mannerist rendering of “The Last Supper” from Bad Boys 2.
My personal favorite is among the site’s many indispensable entries from the world of television: A performance art scene from Sex in the City that looks like it was not only inspired by Marina Abramović, but actually filmed on location inside her durational piece “The House with the Ocean View” at Sean Kelly Gallery in 2002. It’s certainly a more impressive cultural touchstone than the sort favored by Tony Soprano.