John Lennon and Yoko Ono turned their 1969 honeymoon in Amsterdam into a masterstroke of performance art. Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward
Many of us have been spending more time in bed than usual, and that’s brilliant—literally. The dreaming doesn’t need to stop after we’ve woken up, as exemplified by these great artists who found the horizontal position to be a most creative one. The bedroom is a blessedly private place and its cozy centerpiece facilitates that precious state between alertness and slumber, a liminal space where the previously unfathomable has a chance to spring to life. Mark Twain was fond of writing prose under the covers, and the masterful writer Hilary Mantel stays in bed after she has woken to jot down her dreams, which inform her day’s work. Frida Kahlo created some of her most famous self-portraits while lying down, and the French painter Henri Matisse mastered his famous cut-out technique, creating forms with scissors and paper while bed-bound. John Lennon and Yoko Ono made performance art from time in bed, staging a “bed-in” during their honeymoon in Amsterdam to protest the ravages of the Vietnam War. So here’s to your next lie-in, and million-dollar idea.

Frida Kahlo (left) and Henri Matisse (right) let their creative juices flow while supine. Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward

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