Series P, Episode 6 - Pictures
- Sandi is dressed as a stereotypical artist, with a paint-stained smock and beret. The panel are all dressed as characters in famous paintings. Joe is dressed as the wailing figure in "The Scream", Noel as the "Mona Lisa", Hannah as the self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh after he cut off his ear, and Alan as the figure with an apple for a face in Rene Magritte's "The Son of Man".
- The panel are shown a painting by Pablo Picasso and are asked what mistake he made when painting it. The painting is of Marie-Therese Walter, the 17-year-old mistress of the then 45-year-old artist, and Picasso's wife Olga Khokhlova recognised Walter despite the cubist styling, thus she discovered that Picasso was having an affair. Of the seven most important women in Picasso's live, two committed suicide and another two went insane. Walter is also depicted in "Le Reve", which depicts her with Picasso's penis resting on her face.
- There are many examples of self-insertion artists. Across the centuries artists have put themselves in their own works. This mostly occurs in Renaissance art. Examples of paintings which have the artist inserted in them include Botticelli's "Adoration of the Magi", Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" (which is actually called "The Militia Company of District II under The Command of Captain Franks Bannick Cocq", but it is better known as "The Night Watch" because the painting got so dirty), and Jan van Eyck's "Arnofini Portrait".
- XL: The panel are show a portrait and are asked who is wearing the pants in it. While the picture seems to depict what looks like Abraham Lincoln, the body is of a Southern pro-slavery politician named John Calhoun. In 1957, photojournalist Stefan Lorant was collecting pictures for a book entitled Lincoln: A Picture Story of his Life, and noticed that in this particular painting the mole on Lincoln's face was on the wrong side. Thus this painting is an early example of what PhotoShop does, with this being done by an artist named Thomas Hicks. (Forfeit: Abraham Lincoln)
- Alan is shown a picture and is asked what is missing from it. Luckily for him, for once it is a blue whale. The painting is "View from Scheveninggen Sands" by Hendrick van Anthonissen, and in 2014 the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge was cleaning it when they discovered that there was a whale in the picture that had been painted over in either the 18th or 19th centuries to make the picture more saleable.
- The panel close their eyes and are asked to think of the pinkest thing imaginable. The pinkest thing imaginable is actually the world's pinkest pink paint, created by the artist Stuart Semple. Semple created it in response to another artist, Anish Kapoor, who created the blackest black paint (aka Vantablack, which absorbs 99.96% of light) and denied anyone else from using it. Semple disagreed with this move, so he created the pinkest pink in protest, allowing it to be used by anyone except Kapoor. When you buy it, you have to sign a piece of paper saying that: "You are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor." Kapoor however did get hold of some of the pinkest pink, painted his middle finger with it and posted a picture on Instagram mocking Semple.
- The next Rembrandt is a computer. The panel are shown what looks like a classic Rembrandt portrait, but it is actually a 2016 project called "The Next Rembrandt". Artists and data experts analysed 346 paintings by Rembrandt and thus were able to create a picture in his style, in terms of looks, colour schemes, facial structure and brush strokes. "The Next Rembrandt" was 3D printed using 13 layers of paint.
- The studio has set up a mock art gallery with a Rembrant "painting", a fake laser beam security system made out of ribbons and a sleeping guard. Joe is tasked with stealing the painting without waking the guard. While he makes it past the lasers, he wakes up the guard because the painting has another security measure often deployed by American art galleries: there are loads of marbles behind the picture, so when Joe takes it off the wall, the marbles all fall and wake up the guard. US galleries use this because it is a cheap alternative to hi-tech systems. Most art thefts are not detailed plans like you see in films. Most paintings are stolen due to a lack of security, and most thieves don't have a specific target. Also, they don't know what to do with the painting afterwards or how to put it on the black market, so only 15% of stolen paintings are recovered. (Forfeit: *Joe wakes the guard.*)
- XL: Something that is less interesting than watching paint dry is watching a film of paint drying. In 2016, filmmaker Charlie Lyne crowd-funded a film called Paint Drying, which consists entirely of white paint drying on a brick wall for over ten hours. In the UK, the law states you cannot show a film unless the British Board of Film Classification has watched it. It costs £7.09 per minute to classify your film, so Lyne crowd-funded a film that was as long as possible for the money he had available. He raised £5,963, and thus made a film of paint drying that was 607 minutes long, that the BBFC were forced to watch. It was given a "U" classification.
- XL: The people who take 160 billion pictures a year are the US Postal Service. They photograph every piece of mail that goes through their system, making them probably the most prolific photographers in the world, but they delete the photos once the items are delivered. These photos are taken to help track the mail. (Forfeit: Kim Kardashian)
- XL: The safest way to go up and down in a building is using a lift. In the USA, about 20 people die per year on lifts or escalators, while 12,000 died per year on stairs.
- The best investment you could have made 10 years ago was buying a tin of poo. In 1961, Italian artist Piero Manzoni put his poo in 90 tin cans, weighing 30g each. The labels say in three languages: "Artist's shit. Contents: 30g net. Freshly preserved, produced and tinned in May 1961." In 2007, the Tate Gallery purchased a tin for $30,000, and today each tin is believed to be $300,000. One problem however is that no-one is sure if the tins actually have poo in it, and they can't open the tins because that would destroy the artwork. Manzoni is dead so it is impossible to ask him, but someone who worked with him, Agostino Bonalumi, claims the tins really contain plaster.
- There is no truth that the brown note makes you want to poo. This was a myth that was popularised by an episode of South Park, which states that there is a very low sound that makes you want to go to the toilet. (Forfeit: Poo)
- The panel are shown some railings in London and are asked what colour they are. While they look black, they are actually invisible green. It is not actually invisible, but it is a dull, dark green that blends in with vegetation. (Forfeit: Black)
- Monday 15th October 2018
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Sandi Toksvig||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|Alex Bell||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Justin Pollard||Associate Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
|Nigel Catmur||Lighting Designer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Researcher|
|Alice Campbell Davis||Researcher|
|Sarah Clay||Commissioning Editor|
|Kalpna Patel-Knight||Commissioning Editor|