TIME movies

The Unsettling Legend Behind the Broken Marriage in Effie Gray

David Levinthal—Adopt Films Dakota Fanning as Effie Gray

Why did John Ruskin never consummate his marriage?

When Euphemia Gray married John Ruskin in 1848, she likely saw him as a wonderful match: nine years her senior, he was wealthy and already a well-respected art critic. But as we learn in the biopic Effie Gray, in theaters Friday, the union was far from ideal.

Ruskin was one of the most prominent thinkers of his day, an expert on painters like J.M.W. Turner and the pre-Raphaelites and a dabbler in countless other subjects. Effie became known simply for her union with him—and later, for its ugly unraveling. The resulting publicity inspired plays, films, television series and even an opera. This most recent movie stars Dakota Fanning as Effie and Greg Wise as Ruskin. His real-life wife, Emma Thompson, wrote the screenplay and plays a role as a friend to Effie. Tom Sturridge rounds out the love triangle as a protegé of Ruskin’s, the painter John Everett Millais.

Ruskin was reluctant to consummate the marriage at first, telling his young bride that she was not ready for childbirth and that having a baby would inhibit their travel plans. But six years later, Effie was still a virgin. Frustrated, she pressed her husband to tell her the truth, and finally he explained. She wrote about the exchange in a letter:

Finally this last year he told me his true reason (and this to me is as villainous as all the rest), that he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was, and that the reason he did not make me his Wife is that he was disgusted with my person the first evening.

Historians have interpreted Ruskin’s revulsion along different lines—perhaps she had body odor, or was menstruating on their wedding night. We’ll probably never know the real reason, but the most fascinating is probably the theory put forth by Mary Lutyens: That Ruskin, being so accustomed to the sleek female forms in classical paintings and sculptures, had no idea that women had pubic hair, and was horrified to find it on Effie’s body.

The legend may well be apocryphal, but in the age of Brazilian waxes, its endurance speaks to an anxiety feminists have been battling for decades. Thanks to artistic depictions, from Titian’s canvases to Vogue’s spreads, women can never live up to expectations of physical beauty.

Fortunately for modern women, a marital problem like Effie’s is unfathomable. And fortunately for Effie herself, the story had a happy ending: she secured an annulment after proving her husband had never consummated their union, and went on to marry the artist John Everett Millais. He apparently found no issue with her “person”—together, they had eight children.

TIME celebrities

You Can Now Listen to Shia LaBeouf’s Heartbeat Online

'Nymphomaniac Volume I (long version)' Premiere - 64th Berlinale International Film Festival
Target Presse Agentur Gmbh—WireImage Shia LaBeouf attends the 'Nymphomaniac Volume I (long version)'

"Like cats have whiskers, we too are born with a guidance system: our heart"

In the name of art, actor Shia LaBeouf has plagiarized, walked a red carpet with a bag over his head and engaged in a 144-lap marathon around an Amsterdam museum while sporting purple spandex and a single dreadlock. But he might have finally topped himself by setting up a live stream of his heartbeat.

The actor announced at SXSW that people can click here to check in on the actor’s beating heart through March 19.

LaBeouf explained in a statement, “Like cats have whiskers, we too are born with a guidance system: our heart. It is our inner GPS, our map, and our guide. It promises to lead us down the path of maximum fulfillment.”

Here’s how he led up to the announcement on Twitter:

TIME Crime

American History’s Biggest Art Theft Hits 25 Years Unsolved

Empty Frames At The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
David L Ryan—Boston Globe / Getty Images An empty frame on the right is where Vermeer's "The Concert," circa 1658 - 166, once was.

The 13 pieces were stolen from a Boston museum on the morning of March 18, 1990

It was the morning of March 18, 1990 — exactly 25 years ago — when a security guard at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum got a nasty surprise. Hours earlier, thieves dressed as police officers had entered the museum, immobilized the security guards with duct tape, removed 13 works from their places and got away. Those works, including several Rembrandts and Vermeer’s The Concert, are valued by the FBI at a combined $500 million, making it the largest single property crime in the nation’s history.

A quarter-century later, the crime remains unsolved — but, as interest in the anniversary emerges, so have clues.

Even though the criminals appeared to have gotten away scot-free, the clues have been trickling in since the very beginning. Most of the works, per TIME’s original coverage of the theft, are not especially significant ones, which indicated from the start that the thieves were no experts. The valuation of the stolen works, which was originally $200 million, may also have been exaggerated, suggested the magazine’s Robert Hughes; the idea is that thieves who can be persuaded to ask higher prices when fleecing their wares are more likely to have to go out to a variety of potential buyers, which increases the likelihood that someone will spill the beans in exchange for the reward ($1 million in 1990; $5 million today). If the criminals had been real experts, they likely would have targeted the pride of the Gardner, Titian’s Rape of Europa, and would not have so crudely cut some paintings from their frames. The theft came during an increase in the incidence of such crimes as the value of the global art market expanded, increasing potential rewards and attracting more cons to the racket.

The next major spate of clues came in 1997, when after seven years and thousands of leads, there wast still no sign of the stolen works. At that point, TIME learned that two career criminals — one of whom was Myles Connor, a former rock guitarist who was at the time in prison for crimes connected to a 1975 art heist — had come forward offering to broker a return of the art, blaming the theft on two other criminals who had since died. (Connor also told the magazine that if he had been the one to knock off the Gardner, Europa would have been his target.)

The news of the clue had first come to the world courtesy of the Boston Herald, whose Tom Mashberg was invited earlier in 1997 to be driven to a warehouse where he was shown, by flashlight, a Rembrandt. The newspaper hired an expert to analyze photographs and paint chips they acquired, and announced that he had decided they were authentic. Negotiations with Connor and his acquaintance Billy Youngworth, however, stalled out. As Mashberg wrote in the New York Times this month, Connor was eventually ruled out as a reliable lead.

In 2013, another clue emerged. At that time, the FBI announced that they had determined who had committed the crime and where the stolen works had been taken. The works had been offered for sale in Connecticut and Philadelphia at some point, and the thieves were part of a larger criminal organization. Beyond that, the agency was hush-hush about its new knowledge.

The following year, an FBI agent released the names of three suspects and said that sightings of the works had been confirmed.

As reported in a lengthy story by Stephen Kurkjian last week — worthwhile reading for those interested in the intricacies of such an investigation — a raid in 2012 had uncovered evidence but no actual sightings of the paintings. Former Globe reporter Kurkjian’s new book, Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist, points a finger at a Boston criminal named Louis Royce for planting the idea in the actual criminals’ minds.

But the crime remains, for exactly 25 years as of today, unsolved.

Read TIME’s original coverage of the theft, here in the TIME Vault: A Boston Theft Reflects the Art World’s Turmoil

TIME Parenting

How to Talk To Kids About Art

Mother and daughter in art gallery
Getty Images

Even when you know nothing about it

It’s not always easy to talk about art. As the dancer Isadora Duncan is quoted as saying, “If I could say it, I wouldn’t have to dance it.”

Still, art is good for kids. Studies show that when they get into art, they’re more empathetic and more involved with their communities. They have higher career goals, better critical thinking skills, and better academic outcomes. Yet schools are increasingly finding art is squeezed out of their curriculum in favor of more “useful” subjects.

So how can a parent start good conversations with kids about art?

Barbara Hunt McLanahan, executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York, says that the first thing parents need to understand about art is that “there’s no right and wrong. That’s the joy of it,” she explains. “Especially today when there’s so much emphasis on testing and standards. With art, you can encourage individuality. It’s good to be different.”

Parents may feel like they’ve got to be experts in art to talk about it, but McLanahan suggests a different perspective: learning along with your kids. “Side by side learning is one of our philosophies,” she says. You don’t have to know everything to start a conversation on art with your kids – you just have to be curious, and willing to learn.

For more parenting tips, news and guidance, sign up here to get our free weekly newsletter, TIME for Parents.

Michelle Lopez, Director of Community Programs at the Children’s Museum of the Arts, suggests starting conversations about art with elementary school kids with three simple questions. When looking at a work of art, start by asking, “What’s happening?” Give them a chance to form some opinions by asking, “What do you see that makes you think that?” Then keep exploring with, “What else can we find?”

Middle school, McLanahan says, is a good time for kids to start getting curious about the artist. Parents and kids can talk together about questions like, “Why would an artist make those choices? How would the piece change if they’d made a different one?”

As students move into high school, Lopez says, art can be an interesting way “to get to know your children as they get older.” When looking at art, kids often “project their views, thoughts, and emotions.” Then parents can “demonstrate that you respect their ideas or disagree” – all within the “safe space in the conversation about the artwork.”

The most important thing for parents and kids at any age to know about art? It’s pretty simple, McLanahan says: “Have fun with it. It’s all about having fun.”

TIME On Our Radar

A Photographer’s Goodbye to a Long-Lost Sister

Phillip Toledano goes back in time to the days following his sister's death

In the last five years, British photographer Phillip Toledano has turned the lens on his life and his family. With Days With My Father, he dealt with his mother’s passing and the impact the loss had on his father, who suffered from dementia. In A Shadow Remains, he addressed his father’s death, which, he says, showed him the power of unapologetic love. And, in The Reluctant Father, he studied how the birth of his daughter, dreaded at first, changed his life for the better.

In his latest book, When I Was Six, Toledano goes back in time, to the moment when his sister Claudia died in a fire. He was just 6, then, and, to this day, he doesn’t remember how he coped with the unexpected loss. “I don’t have any memories of my life after she died, except for this kind of peculiar fascination with space travel and astronomy,” Toledano tells TIME. “I think it was a way of being somewhere else, far from what had happened.”

After the death of his parents, Toledano found a box of Claudia’s things that his mother had kept. “Clothes, toys, health records, notes she wrote,” he says. “But also, everything to do with her death. It was a museum of sorts. But it was also a second chance; a chance to know my sister; to understand the pain my parents carried, and the strength it took not to bury me along with my sister.”

In When I Was Six, Toledano mixes text, still lifes of these objects with atmospheric space images he created in a fish tank. “It took me a year to have the courage to spend time with this stuff,” he says. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

Particularly poignant is a photo album Toledano found. On one page, he’s portrayed with his sister, smiling in Casablanca. On the opposite page, he’s alone, laughing and “ready for sportsday.” “That photo kind of brought me to my knees,” he says. “I couldn’t believe the date. It was two weeks after she died and I looked so normal.”

's When I Was Six
Phillip Toledano“In my mind, I’ve always imagined her as a baby or a small kid, and [in this] picture she’s a real person,” says Phillip Toledano. “She’s eating a piece of chicken.”
From the series When I Was Six.

When I Was Six is deeply personal exploration of Toledano’s past — a study that started with Days With My Father. “When your parents die, they leave you with a lot of unopened boxes that you can choose to open or not,” he tells TIME. “You can choose to confront the things they’ve left you. And I guess the last five years have been a series of confrontations. It’s about deciding to tacked these things and trying to make sense of them.”

When I Was Six is also a way for Toledano to say goodbye to his sister, something, he thinks, his parents tried to shelter him from when he was younger. “I can’t imagine what it must be like to have your kid disappear,” he says. “So I don’t fault my parents. I don’t know if you can understand, when you’re 6, what it means when someone dies.”

Phillip Toledano is a British photographer based in New York City. When I Was Six is published by Dewi Lewis and will be launched at the Format festival in Derby, U.K., on Friday, March 13.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent


Björk Is Your Tour Guide: An Exclusive TIME Interview for Her MOMA Retrospective

The Icelandic iconoclast tells the stories behind 12 legendary images

New York City’s Museum of Modern Art wasn’t designed to readily accept the life’s work of Björk Guðmundsdóttir—a trait it shares with most of the world, which isn’t always inclined to embrace music that is challenging, vibrant and on occasion utterly outside the realm of mainstream pop. So when curator Klaus Biesenbach set out to exhibit the Icelandic iconoclast’s voluminous portfolio of visual and sonic art, he had to modify the building. To accommodate the resonating bass notes in a specially commissioned video for “Black Lake,” a song from Björk’s latest album, Vulnicura, “we had to build a new floor,” Biesenbach says, “to keep our Picassos from falling off the walls.”

The installation at MOMA, on display from March 8 to June 7, spreads over three floors, encompassing the photographs, music videos, costumes and custom-made instruments that have helped make Björk, 49, a singular pop presence since she emerged from Iceland with the Sugarcubes in 1987. Biesenbach pursued the singer for five years before she agreed to the retrospective. “It’s tricky for a musician to be in a visual museum,” she says. “To take someone on a musical journey, like a musician’s development, how you change in 20 years’ time. That’s the experiment.”

The singer sat down with TIME a few weeks before the retrospective was scheduled to open at MOMA. She chose a small cafe on a hidden-away street in Brooklyn Heights, where she keeps one of her three homes. (The other two are in Iceland and London.) Sipping tea and wearing a bright white parka, platform nurse’s shoes and a brilliant yellow dress that seemed decidedly springlike on a gray winter day, Björk was typically specific and eloquent about what inspired the images that photographers, directors, costumers, fashion designers, graphic designers and makeup artists have crafted for her.

Each is part of its own chapter in Björk’s impressive catalog of musical identities. Here, she weighs in on 12 of the most arresting works to be displayed at MOMA.

  • The Face Magazine, 1993 (Photograph by Glen Luchford)

    Glen Luchford

    Glenn Luchford did this photo. He’s amazing with skin. The camera was literally like this big—so you get all these details. I was 27 when this was taken. It’s very much when I moved first to London—I was a bit crazy, a single mom. I moved with my son [Sindri], he was 6 at the time. Found him a school, rented a flat. And I just found that all the people that were exciting me musically were living in London and it was just a mission I really had to go on. I started going to raves a little bit back in Manchester in ’89, hanging out with 808 States and Graham Massey. And then it wasn’t til ’93 that I moved to London, had that white fluffy—I wore this all the time, white mohair, like a bomber jacket. Very rave.

    I had met Dom T, who was a DJ and my boyfriend at the time. He was from Bristol. And I’d met Nellee Hooper, who was the producer of the [Debut] album. I didn’t know at the time that he would end up producing it—it was one of those things. I actually started working with Graham Massey [of 808 State], from Manchester. But then as I got to know Nellee, we slowly just did the whole thing together.

    I never wanted to be world-famous. I’ve always been a music nerd. I really love, and get high on, when there’s a flow in a group, sort of energy. I don’t know what it’s called in English. When a group works really well together. That’s my drug. I don’t know what it’s called. Some energy that happens. When everybody is kind of equal, and opened-up, and the clocks go away, and there’s just a sort of flow.

    I was in bands from when I was 15. I preferred being in a group. But I think what happened to me—the music in the band I was in [The Sugarcubes] wasn’t my taste. I love the people in it—we still text each other all the time. We all run this label in Iceland called Bad Taste, and they’re still like my best mates. But as a music nerd, I just had to follow my heart, and my heart was those beats that were happening in England. And maybe what I’m understanding more and more as I get older, is that music like Kate Bush has really influenced me. Brian Eno. Acid. Electronic beats. Labels like Warp. And if there’s such a thing in pop music as a Music Tree, I see myself on the same branch, you know. And for me it’s almost like you know, I’ve been calling it ‘matriarch electronic music.’ So I think that was the heart I was following.

    I just wanted to meet likeminded music people. And I definitely met those. Like Talvin Singh and Leila Arab—a lot of immigrants. I think basically most of the people I was hanging out with were immigrants. And Talvin Singh is from India, so I was tapping into the whole Bollywood thing. That ended up being two songs on this album, with strings recorded in India. Talman Singh was going to India anyway, and he took two songs on a DAT [Digital Audio Tape recorder] to the film studios there, and they recorded strings on two songs, “Venus As A Boy” and “Come To Me.” And then he came back and just put it on the tracks. So everything was very spontaneous. Just driven by love of music, really.

  • Video for “Human Behavior,” 1993 (Directed by Michel Gondry)

    When [Michel Gondry and I] first met, we did a song that was a little bit about my childhood. It took me 10 years to work it out that we had almost similar moms and really similar childhoods. All the videos we’ve done, they’re always about my childhood, nostalgic in a way. And then when I had to do [videos for] grownup songs, I’d have to go somewhere else. And then I’m always teasing Michel that he has to do a grownup song. We kind of have an ongoing joke about that. I think with people like Matthew Barney and Chris Cunningham, and also maybe Inez and Vinoodh, I had the opportunity to tap into the adult side of me. And also with Nick Knight, I think the work we’ve done has been less childish. I like both.

  • Homogenic, 1997 (Album cover photograph by Nick Knight, costume by Alexander McQueen)

    Nick Knight and Alexander McQueen

    After Homogenic, I would say I pretty much picked all the garments that I wore on my sleeves [album covers]. But in this one, I pretty much walked into a relationship that was between Nick Knight and Alexander McQueen. They had already done a few images that were quite feisty, and were kind of experimenting. In those years, you didn’t really do stuff digitally like that. Nick Knight has been such a pioneer in those things. But I explained to Lee—that’s what we call him in England, Alexander McQueen—that for me Homogenic was an album that had this contrast in it. Because I had just done two albums, Debut and Post, where I traveled the world, and did interviews, and became this representative of Iceland. And it was almost like a cliché, like I was this elf, eskimo from up North, which wasn’t true, you know?

    And I went to Spain and wrote this album. And I tapped into what I felt truly was Icelandic. It wasn’t the cliché. It was more romantic Icelandic strings and the beats on this album are distorted, they sound like volcanoes. That for me is very patriotic. But at the same time, I was saying to Lee, I’m like the most global citizen from Iceland. When I’m in Iceland, I’m like the cosmopolitan, you know. When I’m in New York, I’m like the Icelandic person. So it’s an interesting contrast.

    So my idea was to call the album Homogenic, which was about how I’m from one place, but I wanted this to be from 10 different places. So this is like, Indian, no this is from Africa, this is Mexican, this is Japanese, this is European manicure and then the eyes are kind of robot contact lenses. So for a lot of people this image passed off as a Japanese thing, maybe because of the background, but we were trying to make up a person, a warrior queen, that was from every culture. But I didn’t come up with this. It was Alexander McQueen’s idea.

  • Video still from All Is Full of Love, 1999 (Directed by Chris Cunningham)

    Directed by Chris Cunningham

    This video has a different story than most other things I’ve done. I obviously was a huge fan of [Chris’s] work. And then it wasn’t until I got the right song that I was like, “OK, this is something that’s very Chris, that has that melancholy and that sensual and emotional depth.” I told him that this song is sort of about where love and lust meet. It’s sort of like heaven. It’s quite erotic. But it’s in heaven so everything has to be white. And then I gave him these little statues that I bought—you know these Chinese ivory statues, this small, that are like erotic? I bought quite a few of them and gave them to him.

    And then a week or two later, he sent me a treatment where he included all this work he had done on robots, that happened to be something he’d been doing for years, and he’s like, “I think these two could meet.” It’s almost like a modern version of the little figurines.

    He thought it would take three months, and it just wasn’t ready. So I have to change and put another outfit on, and become the protector. I have to kind of hold off the record companies and become a producer. They spent nine extra months doing this video with hundreds of interns working for free, because we didn’t have any budget. I’m not really a No. 1 artist, you know.

    This took him a long time to finish. I was just like, I trust you. You know when you just know that something really amazing is happening, you just feel it in your stomach? And you just gotta protect it, like a feisty mom. So I just become a feisty mom, and created space for him. And he showed me this and it was next level. Chris just needs his bubble to create.

  • Swan Dress, 2001 (Designed by Marjan Pejowski)

    arrivals at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards
    Mirek Towski—FilmMagic/Getty Images

    TIME: Will the infamous, notorious swan dress be there?

    Björk: The swan dress? Yes. With the eggs. They were almost going to put a red carpet, but then, somebody talked us out of that. It would have been funny, though.

  • Volta, 2007 (Album cover photograph by Nick Knight, costume by Bernard Wilhelm)

    Nick Knight

    I was working with Bernard Wilhelm to make the outfits for the Volta tour, and we were meeting several times. And he showed me this thing. And I was like, “Wow, we gotta make this. That is absolutely ridiculous. It’s like totally slapstick.” What I’m wearing is plastic. He had never made something like that before. He found some people who spray cars [for the paint]. It was quite a journey. I’m so glad we get to exhibit it in MoMA.

    And we were like, “What kind of photographer is good at [shooting something like this]?” Nick Knight is just so good at photographing something that’s that streamlined and make it more powerful. For me it was almost like two covers of Volta, that one is the yang, the male, and [the other one, by Inez and Vinoodh] is more the female—all the crochet, what’s inside, like the intestines of the character.

  • Volta, 2007 (Alternative album cover photograph by Inez and Vinoodh)

    One Little Indian

    The first thing I always know—maybe it’s a musician thing—I always know the colors pretty early. And it’s like solving a murder mystery. I knew it was red, and then electric blue and neon green. The makeup reference funnily enough came from Bernard Wilhelm, because I was working with two people at the same time for this. Sometimes it’s like an overlap, you know? But we were trying to make up this character who is kind of in some invented tribe. And then M/M, the designers, they came up with a fire font for “Volta.” They actually made pipes, and put gas in it, and photographed it, making letters, a fire font.

  • Video still from “Wanderlust,” 2008 (Directed by Encyclopedia Pictura, costume by Icelandic Glove Corp.)

    Directed by Encyclopedia Pictura

    There’s always one song on each album that’s the heart of the album. I was living on a boat at the time, trying to figure out in what country we were gonna live in. And it was really about this nomad feeling, you know. So we talked about nomads and it was Encyclopedia’s idea immediately to go for the Himalayas, and this kind of aesthetic. I felt it would’ve been a bit obvious to do the Icelandic thing because I wanted it to be more universal.

    For the Volta character, I started quite early working on this. I contacted girlfriends of mine, they’re like a collective called Icelandic Glove Corporation. They’re friends of mine in Iceland. I wanted to make this nomadic shaman voodoo Icelandic woman, who was a feminist and kind of pagan. So we made up this character with several outfits where they would just crochet it like mad.


  • Biophilia, 2011 (Album cover photograph by Inez and Vinoodh)

    Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

    I’ve got a really amazing relationship with the photographers, Inez and Vinoodh, who I’ve worked with now for like 16 years, 17 years. I actually just came from them now, just seeing the new video they’ve done for me. I’m like, almost in tears. They really made it happen again. They’re so understanding of me. I’m really grateful for their vision. I’m able to mirror myself in them.

    This is actually a really typical thing that happens. I will arrive and say, “I want big orange hair, it has to be like a cloud, this woman has her head in the clouds, almost a piss-take, of this kind of music teacher, kind of trippy. Who takes the kids in her class on this utopian journey through the galaxy, teaching them psychology. So she has to be a bit nuts.” So I kind of asked for a big orange Afro and I brought some dresses that I collected. And then my friends from Three as Four, they’re clothes designers, they live here in New York, friends of mine since 2000. They brought this harp, and I asked if we could bring crystals. I just made up this nutty music teacher who’s trying to unite nature and music.

    M/M, the guys who designed my album cover, were really understanding, too. They came up with this galaxy here, and this logo. And they worked a lot with the photographers. So it’s kind of teamwork. I maybe go out hunting and bring the ingredients and throw them on the table, but then everybody cooks together the meal. I’m not really good—I once tried to photograph myself. But I hated it because it’s so narcissistic. I can’t get my head around it. And like the selfie thing, I’m not from that generation or something. And also there’s something catalyst that happens when you work with amazing photographers and a design team. They just put in the magic and the yeast, and make it all work.

  • Video for “Mutual Core,” 2012 (Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang)

    This is for Mutual Core. This is based on the tectonic plates. Andrew always gets these weird requests from me. I kind of gave him a color palette and asked that it be sort of about the two tectonic plates, and how we are making them work together. And it was all about geology in a way. But I think that’s the reason I contacted Andrew Huang in the first place. Because he did this amazing video, I’m not gonna remember what it’s called now, you have to Google it, it wasn’t for a band or anything. He was working a lot with sand and deserts. So it was totally like, “Wow, we are overlapping here.” I’m so happy because he’s also doing two other videos for me now. He’s done three videos on this album [Vulnicura]. He’s been amazing.

  • Onstage at Bonnaroo, 2013 (Photograph by Danny Clinch)

    Danny Clinch

    This was shot a year and a half ago when I was doing concerts. What [MOMA curator Klaus Biesenbach] was realizing—something that I don’t realize, of course—is that I will have a character for each album. For me it’s almost like a tarot card. Each album character is on the cover. But then there’s always an in-between two characters. So this is like when the Biophilia dress isn’t there anymore—they were all in this copper color or electric blue—and the dress had become white. But it’s still a little bit Biophilia.

    This would [also] be the beginning of Vulnicura. But for me this photo is very much about forgiveness. What’s nice about the spines is that they’re very light, very easy to wear. I quite like how lo-fi it is. But I also like that it connects with something quite spiritual or saintly. And I think every human being has a potential inside them, that if they managed to forgive, it has this saint-like flavor. But I’m not saying I’m good at it, I’m not an expert at all, but I do try. It is definitely something I was tapping into here, definitely in the “Black Lake” song, it’s about the concept of forgiveness. And a lot of saints through the ages, their theme is if you manage to just forgive, it’s liberating. It’s the only way to salvation. And it’s very much between you and yourself at the end of the day.

  • Video still from “Black Lake,” 2015 (Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang)

    Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang

    Andrew Huang, the director, came to Iceland and we were looking for this scene. It’s like the wound is being healed. So we were trying to find cliffs that we shaped like a wound, so I could be inside the wound. Iris Van Helpen is an incredible craft designer. She designed most of the dresses for Biophilia. She did this dress that is metallic, and is kind of like lava.

    People say Biophilia is like —it’s like my sci-fi album. This is my very psychological, in-my-apartment album. I say that tongue in cheek, don’t take that too seriously. It’s funny. So that was sort of the language we were trying to find.

    The video goes through several different landscapes, but the story is kind of, spatially, told in the landscape. It’s kind of tight—this is quite tight. This is not the tightest one. And then it’s a resolution. Well at least we try for some sort of healing and liberation. I don’t know if you’ve seen the lyrics, but the last verse is about healing. And the last shot is sort of like a space shuttle. Kind of like when you see the space rockets, going out like the NASA ones. I like that.

    It’s been one of the longest relationships I’ve had, with Andrew. Because of MoMA, it wasn’t just a three-month, four-month music video process. He came into the picture almost a year ago and we’ve had like a hundred meetings. It it becomes like a bureaucracy thing when you do it with art museums. But this is how it ended up.


This Artist Uses His iPhone to Recreate Iconic Movie Scenes

A totally surreal use of technology

French artist Francois Dourlen has proven that iPhones are good for so much more than Snapchat and Candy Crush. He uses his device to reimagine famous movie scenes with clever visual trickery, resulting in a series of stunning photographs.

Dourlen pulls up stills from films ranging from Rambo to Up on his screen, and then carefully overlaps them with everyday real-life scenes to create entirely new, surreal images.

See more of Dourlen’s work on his Instagram or his Facebook.

  • The Lion King


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • The Avengers


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Puss in Boots


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Return of the Jedi


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Forrest Gump

    Ça fait 3 jours qu'il squatte mon jardin… Je commence a flipper…

    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Up


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Superman


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • The Lion King


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Big Hero 6


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Ted


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Back to the Future


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • Dumb and Dumber


    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on

  • The Lord of the Rings

    An old one :)

    A photo posted by @francoisdourlen on


Know Right Now: ISIS Destroys Artifacts at Iraqi Museum

The video was apparently recorded at a museum in Mosul

ISIS released a new video purportedly showing the destruction of several ancient artifacts in a Mosul museum. Watch Know Right Now to find out more.

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