Damien Hirst interviewing Peter Blake in his studio and Martin Kemp discussing the Mona Lisa: these are two of the twenty-five short films made available on Vimeo by HENI Talks. The platform plans to add new films quarterly, keeping this broad editorial line of mixing art history with contemporary practices.

Damien Hirst and Peter Blake Damien Hirst and Peter Blake. Courtesy HENI Talks.

Munira Mirza, the director of HENI Talks and former deputy mayor for culture and education under Boris Johnson, has great expectations for the project: “The online audience for art history is massive and there is a hunger for great content out there.”

Taddei Tondo (c.1504-1505, detail), Michelangelo Taddei Tondo (c.1504-1505, detail), Michelangelo. Courtesy HENI Talks.

The free online library features speakers coming from all sectors of the art world: academics, curators, artists… It’s this mix and match of profiles and topics that makes the new platform so compelling to follow. The team also works closely with museums and institutions, including the Courtauld Gallery.

Self Portrait (1984), Jean-Michel Basquiat Self Portrait (1984), Jean-Michel Basquiat. Courtesy HENI Talks.

The films on view at the moment include lively studio visits (the Peter Blake/Damien Hirst segment mentioned earlier is not to be missed), enlightening pictorial analysis from Cézanne to Basquiat and exploration of themes such as women in power and chromatophobia.

Hans-Ulrich Obrist Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Courtesy HENI Talks.

HENI Talks is a non-commercial initiative from London-based arts service business HENI, a specialist in art publications both in print and digital form. “We felt we were well placed to do something to help and believe it’s important to give something back,” Mirza told The Art Newspaper.

Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp. Courtesy HENI Talks.

Whether you are an art history buff or just looking to spend some time watching quality content, HENI Talks is worth checking out. And have we mentioned it’s free?

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