Monday, July 18, 2016

Getting to see the Real Van Gogh

I was lucky enough to see a huge exhibit of his work in Philadelphia Van Gogh:Face to Face in 2000. It was so inspiring. 

BBC Arts - The real Van Gogh: A genius not driven by madness but crippled by it - BBC

Was Van Gogh really mad? Did his madness drive his art? And did he really cut off his ear and give it to a prostitute? These are the key questions in On The Verge of Insanity at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. And the answers are: yes (sometimes); no (not really) and yes (well, almost).

I never did buy into the myth that his art was driven by his madness. I particularly agree with this quote: "‘A lot of people think his art was a product of his illness,’ says the show’s curator, Nienke Bakker. ‘He painted in spite of his illness.’
Of course she’s quite right. Vincent’s illness wasn’t the cause of his artistic genius, any more than George Best’s boozing caused his balletic genius with a football."
I came home from the exhibit inspired and like many learning artists who want to connect, understand and learn how an artist uses paint I did a version of The Zouave.
Obviously I didn't get the colours right and I learned I just can't use paint the same way, or colour, but it was a fun learning exercise which made me appreciate his work all the more technically. 

Why Reproducing Art is an Important Learning Tool for Artists

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