Just in time for Halloween, I sat down with Natasha Staller, a professor of the history of art who is currently at work on a book called The Spanish Monster, to talk about her popular course “Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters.” Read on to find out how monsters—in different forms throughout history—have crept into disciplines ranging from art to women’s studies to medical science to political science, and why Staller finds Sharon Stone more terrifying than Nosferatu.
Natasha Staller, Professor of the History of Art, was featured in a documentary titled “Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies” that was narrated by celebrated filmmaker Martin Scorcese. The movie, from art dealer-producer-director Arne Glimcher (The Mambo Kings) delves into the relationship between film and the visual arts. Edited by Sabine Krayenbuehl, who also edited My Architect and Mad Hot Ballroom, the film also features contemporary artists like Julian Schnabel, Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, Lucas Samaras, as well as other artists and critics, and was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. In a pioneering 1989 article and more extensively in her book, A Sum of Destructions: Picasso's Cultures & the Creation of Cubism (2001), Professor Staller explored the relationship between Cubism and the first cinema, particularly that of George Méliès.