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‘Didn’t Einstein have to have a job in the post office or something?’
As any artist knows, for every Banksy or Beyoncé, there are thousands of dreamers whose artistic impulse has to be sustained by paid gigs, which tend to be unglamorous. Such is the life of Robert Friedrich, a New York City-based comic artist who splits his time between creative work and a dull cubicle job he’s held down for more than 20 years. Starting with a love of superheroes, he eventually began mining the minutiae of his daily life to create Failing Fast, a ‘visual diary’ of the modern workforce. Finding a refreshing twist on the often fawning sub-genre of artist profiles, the director Sarah Hanssen makes Working Stiff a broadly relatable take on the creative life, in which passion doesn’t pay the bills and every small success is savoured, if fleeting.
Director: Sarah Hanssen
Living off-grid on a remote Scottish island is a mix of rejection and acceptance
Film and visual culture
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Journey deep into the Philippine forest in search of the world’s largest, rarest eagle
What does an AI make of what it sees in a contemporary art museum?
Fairness and equality
How the first woman of colour to be elected to the US Congress remade education
History of ideas
Tantra is, and was, a subversive philosophy of feminine power
Rituals and celebrations
From roaring fire and molten glass an artist creates a healing ritual
Ecology and environmental sciences
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Ancient Greek sculptures were colourful. Why does the white marble ideal persist?