Nine Binge-Worthy Art and Design Shows on Netflix for the Holiday Season

Abstract: The Art of Design. Image courtesy of Netflix.
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes Season 1 Episode 4. Image courtesy of Netflix.
The Toys That Made Us. Image courtesy of Netflix.
Song Exploder [From left to right]: Alicia Keys and Hrishikesh Hirway in Song Exploder Cr. Matt Sayles/Netflix © 2020. Image courtesy of Netflix.
The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski. Image courtesy of Netflix.
Glow Up: Season 2. Photo: Guy Levy. Image courtesy of Netflix.
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This holiday season may look a little different this year. With COVID-19 still very much a part of our lives and social gatherings actively discouraged, most of us are likely to spend New Year’s at home with Netflix. For anyone finding their film catalogues to be monotonous, there’s a wealth of titles to be discovered that shine a spotlight on artists and designers across a spectrum of interests. Here are nine binge-worthy films and TV shows to add to your list.

 

TEXT: Olivia Lai
IMAGES: Courtesy of Netflix unless otherwise stated

 

Abstract: The Art of Design. Image courtesy of Netflix.

 

Abstract: The Art of Design
This two-season documentary series takes viewers through the eyes of a dozen designers working across various disciplines on the arduous journey to see how a concept gets molded and evolve into objects that we encounter in our daily lives. Learn the amount of thought behind each decision in a designer’s creation and the struggle in perfecting the art of storytelling. Each episode guides us through a different bubble inside the design world, ranging from illustration, graphic design, automotive design and even shoemaking, and allows them to discover a new appreciation for design.

 

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes Season 1 Episode 4. Image courtesy of Netflix.

 

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
Join award-winning architect Piers Taylor and actress and property enthusiast Caroline Quentin as they travel around the world and admire some of the most impressively designed houses in this British series. Be amazed by the feats of architectural design and engineering, be it mountain retreats in the Swiss Alps or a fully-automated property in Portugal. The show is a fun alternative to travelling this year while learning more about interior design solutions in extreme locations.

Interior Design Masters
Competition brings out the best creative ideas and this competition show capitalises this by pitting 10 aspiring interior designers for a chance to win a commercial contract with one of London’s top hotels. Watch as commercial and residential spaces get spectacular makeovers while the drama of designers juggling client demands without sacrificing style will certainly keep you on the edge of your seats.

 

The Toys That Made Us. Image courtesy of Netflix.

 

Toys That Made Us
Most people underestimate the impact our childhood toys have on our adult lives. By delving into the history of the world’s most iconic toy franchises, toy makers attempt to explain the phenomena of Star Wars, Barbie, Power Rangers, Lego and more, and examine why they’re making a comeback. The childhood nostalgia is in full abundance in this docuseries. The popularity of Toys That Made Us was so undeniable that it spawned off another Netflix series, The Movies That Made Us, looking into iconic movies from the 1980s and 1990s.

 

Song Exploder [From left to right]: Alicia Keys and Hrishikesh Hirway in Song Exploder Cr. Matt Sayles/Netflix © 2020. Image courtesy of Netflix.

Song Exploder
Ever wondered how a song is written from start to finish? Or what makes a track a successful hit? With an almost scientific approach, Song Exploder dissects popular songs across a wide spectrum of genres and microscopically examines the creative process of putting together an artist’s most famous song. From a drum bassline beat to post-production choices, no stone is left unturned. Originated as one of the most popular music podcasts, Song Exploder recently made the transition into television and features some of the biggest names in the music including Alicia Keys and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The Big Flower Fight
Remove the baking elements of The Great British Bake-Off, replace it with flowers, and you have The Big Flower Fight. See teams of amateur floral sculptors battle it out in this reality competition programme as they tackle various unconventional themes including sea creatures and giant edible thrones. The results are often stunning and over-the-top, demonstrating how floral art is more than just arranging stems in a vase. It’s impossible not to root for every contender as we share in their sense of satisfaction in the transformation of foliage into sensational works of art.

 

The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski. Image courtesy of Netflix.

 

Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski
This gripping documentary tells the story of one of the greatest artists the world’s never heard of: Stanislav Szukalski. An eccentric and mysterious figure in his own right, Szuakalski was a well-known avant-garde artist in pre-war Poland who fell into obscurity before he was discovered to be living anonymously in California. With the help of interviews and old footage, discover the remarkable life of Szuakalski, whose art and sculptures were cultivated from his rage and madness. 

Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait
Get a candid view into the life of Julian Schnabel, the celebrated American artist and filmmaker in this 2017 documentary. It takes a well-rounded look at the artist that many might know passingly, detailing the rise and fall of his career, particularly in the Manhattan art scene. Viewers can decide whether Schnabel fell into a trap of narcissism and vanity with the aid of fascinating footage featuring a stellar cast of artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons and Al Pacino.

 

Glow Up: Season 2. Photo: Guy Levy. Image courtesy of Netflix.

 

Glow Up
Make-up artistry has generally been overlooked as a form of art. Yet with Glow Up, the reality competition show defies stereotypes by allowing aspiring make-up artists to exercise and showcase the full range of their creativity and technical skills. Armed with only brushes, colourful cosmetics and a model’s face as canvas, these make-up artists are creating masterpieces each episode that vary from aliens to unconventional textures that go beyond enhancing one’s appearance. Think of it as America’s Next Top Model meets beauty tutorials, Glow Up is both satisfying and inspiring to watch.

 

 

 
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