These Images Envision What Went on Behind the Scenes of Iconic Photographs

Hannah Rothstein

An artist imagines what was really going on in your favorite photos

Have you ever looked at a photograph and wondered what was happening just beyond the frame? Well, if you haven’t, this new series from artist Hannah Rothstein might make you think differently.

Rothstein partnered with online learning website Udemy to share her vision of what was really happening in some of history’s most iconic images, like the Beatles walking across Abbey Road, above. The series is called “Context Is Key: Beyond the Frames of Famous Photos.”

“I was interested in examining the concept that photographers choose what we see,” Rothstein tells TIME. “They almost can lie — or rather, they can tell the truth that they want to see. And we forget that, because images are very powerful and they are a representation of reality, but they are someone else’s reality.”

Rothstein began by choosing photos she knew people would recognize. She eventually settled on five images that had a clean physical composition and that were posed. (Several of the more photojournalistic images she found depicted serious subject matter that she didn’t want to make light of, she says.) She got to work sketching her own additional scenes by hand and then she digitally blended those with the original photos.

The result? A series of images that are funny and lighthearted — but which also remind us to think a bit more deeply about what we see around us.

Hannah Rothstein
Hannah Rothstein
Hannah Rothstein

See the complete series here.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 26

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Al Qaeda and ISIS are locked in an ideological war, and for once, it’s good to be their mutual enemy.

By Daniel Byman and Jennifer Williams in Lawfare

2. For the millions left behind by America’s new economy, disability claims — legitimate or otherwise — are skyrocketing.

By Chana Joffe-Walt in Planet Money by National Public Radio

3. Maybe universities shouldn’t measure prestige by the number of applicants they turn away.

By Jon Marcus in the Hechinger Report

4. When younger women have heart attacks, they’re twice as likely to die as their male counterparts. Is medicine’s gender bias to blame?

By Maya Dusenbery in Pacific Standard

5. Can the triumph and tragedy of soccer help Harvard students appreciate the humanities?

By Colleen Walsh in the Harvard Gazette

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 24

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Lee Kuan Yew didn’t think Singapore could survive true democracy. After his death, Singapore must do just that.

By Max Boot in Commentary

2. Resilience means more than flexible infrastructure. Cities must open doors to creative vibrance through the arts.

By Jason Schupbach at 100 Resilient Cities

3. Why does China need the next Dalai Lama?

By the Economist

4. The robots of the near future aren’t threatening. They’re boring.

By Erik Sofge in Popular Science

5. Can we truly redesign the experience of death?

By Jon Mooallem in California Sunday

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME movies

Fifty Shades of Grey Brings in Record Numbers at Box Office

The erotic movie may become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all-time

Fifty Shades of Grey—an erotic R-rated movie based on the best-selling novel by E.L. James—brought in almost $9 million on Thursday and $30 million on Friday, according to Box Office Mojo, which could make it the highest-grossing February debut in history.

MORE: Fifty Shades of Grey Star Eloise Mumford: I Would Never Make a Film That Didn’t Empower Women

Movie experts are predicting that Fifty Shades, which features a sexually explicit relationship between a college student and a business mogul, will gross $91 million over a four-day stretch, surpassing the R-rated movie Passion of the Christ, which debuted in February 2004 and made $84 million.

It also could become the highest-grossing R-rated debut of all-time. Matrix Reloaded currently holds the top spot with almost $92 million made in its opening weekend in 2003.


See a Stunning Work of Art Made of 20,000 Tea Bags

The artist created 10 shades of brown by steeping bags in varying temperatures

A Malaysian artist Hong Yi, nicknamed “Red,” created a portrait of a man pouring teh tarik, a hot milk tea drink popular in the country.

It took the artist two months to make this work of art, which was on display at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum was taking place. As the artist explained her process on YouTube:

The teabags were stained by steeping the bags in hot water — the lesser and hotter the water, the more they were stained – and the darker tones were stained with brown food dye. All these bags were stapled and attached onto tiles of wiremesh, then hung off a wooden frame.




Smithsonian Wants to Open Museum in London

General Views of the Olympic Park
Anthony Charlton—LOCOG/Getty Images An aerial view of the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre and Water Polo Centre in the London 2012 Olympic Park on April 16, 2012 in London, England.

Gallery planned for Olympic park would be institute's first international location

The Smithsonian Institute is exploring opening its first international location in London.

The 40,000-square foot Smithsonian gallery would be part of “Olympicopolis,” a cultural center set to open in London’s revamped Olympic park, AP reports.

“We envision this as being a Smithsonian facility that really allows us to show the breadth and depth of everything that we do,” Smithsonian Acting Secretary Al Horvath said. “So it won’t be specifically focused on one topic but will allow us to run the gamut of things that we do — history, science, art, culture and the like.”

London’s mayor and developers for the park site have already secured $50 million to bring a Smithsonian site to “Olympicopolis,” which is set to open in 2021.


Here’s What Happens When Two Male Coworkers Try to Recreate Famous Paintings

The fun's at the Squarespace office in New York City

Francesco Fragomeni and Chris Limbrick, coworkers at the web design platform Squarespace, became every cubicle jockey’s heroes this week with their now-viral depictions of famous paintings the duo creates using only objects from their New York City office. “The only rules are that all props must be things found in the office and all editing must be done on a phone,” according to their Tumblr for the project “Foolsdoart.” A few examples of their creations, which are also on Instagram:

Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665):

"The Girl with the Pearl Earring" Johannes Vermeer, 1665

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

René Magritte’s The Son of Man (1964):

"The Son of Man" Rene Magritte, 1964

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

Frida Kahlo’s Thinking About Death (1943):

"Thinking About Death" Frida Kahlo, 1943

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1503-1506):

"Mona Lisa" Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-1506

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

TIME Music

In The Latest Issue

Taylor Swift Time Magazine Cover
Photograph by Martin Schoeller for TIME

The Power of Taylor Swift
How pop’s savviest romantic conquered the music business

Corps Values
To avoid another Ferguson, we should be taking a lesson on police training from the SEALs

GOP Prepares for an Energy Battle
How the Republican Senate will tackle the Keystone XL pipeline, carbon emissions, renewable subsidies and more

Mexico’s Brutal Nightmare
How an attack on 43 students in September has forced the country to once again confront the scourge of drug violence

Detroit Turns Up
An unlikely deal lifts Motown out of bankruptcy

Little Airlines, Big Ideas
New models in the skies are flourishing

The Talent Gap at the Top of the GOP
Can Republicans find a woman to run for President?

Whose Internet Is It, Anyway?
A guide to the net neutrality word wars

Meet Loretta Lynch
Everything you need to know about Obama’s Attorney General-in-waiting

Mindfulness for Men
Yoga has some new fans—and science says that’s a very good thing

Here Comes the Cold
An “omega block” of freezing wind ushers in icy temperatures for much of the U.S.

How Affirm Wants to Remake Money
The new charge to disrupt lending

The Culture

Pop Chart

Channing Tatum’s Body of Work
The actor wrestles with an unresolved mystery in Foxcatcher

Review: Foxcatcher’s Mat Madness
Tatum scores a reversal

Keith Haring’s Cartoons of Calamity
The artist’s social conscience comes into focus in a new exhibit

When Writers Quit Writing
Readers feel the void when great authors decide to retire

Review: Richard Ford’s Frank Talk
A writer revisits his favorite character in Let Me Be Frank With You

When Life Hacks Go Too Far
We all love a great efficiency hack, but for the important things, short cuts are a waste of time

10 Questions With Zooey Deschanel
The New Girl actress explains her penchant for old pop and how she overcame the mean girls

City Scrapes
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Craig Spencer
Doctor in NYC who contracted Ebola

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller
North Korea detainees

Ronald Reagan
‘If I were there, Margaret, I’d throw my hat in the door before I came in.’

What You Said About …


Can You Guess Which Famous Musicians Made These Paintings?

Neil Young, Marilyn Manson and Patti Smith are just a few of the legendary singers who like to rock out with their smock out

As an art exhibit featuring Neil Young‘s watercolors opens in Los Angeles this week, we rounded up paintings by the venerable rocker and nine other famous musicians, including Marilyn Manson, Paul Stanley, Ronnie Wood, Tony Bennett, Neil Young, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Paul Simonon and Ringo Starr.

Can you guess who painted what? After viewing each image, click to the next slide to reveal the artist.


See Neil Young’s Unique New Watercolor Paintings

One serves as the cover art for his new album, Storytone

Neil Young doesn’t just sing about painters — he’s also a painter himself. In his new memoir, Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars, the musician shares watercolors and prints, all depicting one of his greatest passions: cars.

Young’s artwork is also on display in an exhibit at Los Angeles’s Robert Berman Gallery, now through the end of November. One of the paintings even serves as the cover art for Young’s latest album, Storytone, which debuted this week:

Neil Young

Here are a few of the other works that illustrate Young’s memoir:

Neil Young
Neil Young
Neil Young

“I started with photographs, then I started thinking that photographs didn’t really go anywhere — they’re just photographs,” Young told the Los Angeles Times about his foray into painting. So he tested out some watercolor and charcoal paintings — and ended up with around two dozen works illustrating his memoir.

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