VAN GOGH IN AMERICA
Coming Attractions Of The Detroit DIA Summer Show

DETROIT – The Detroit Institute of Arts is putting together and unforgettable event with, “Van Gogh in America”.This show showcases how Van Gogh’s popularity built up in the U.S. in the 20th century. Van Gogh is a Dutch Post Impressionist painter and was one of the artists who inspired the Fauve movement, (the wild beasts). He is known for his eccentric use of color, pastel shades and impasto technique.

You see, if I go on and on speaking academically I would be just like every other review site on the subject. But I am going to go off the road and share with you some rarely known facts about our dear Vincent Van Gogh. Some of this can be explained and some of it might be a bit of speculation. When I come to the arts I have the tendency to read everything.

Vincent Van Gogh in America | DIA |Detroit Institute of Arts Van Gogh | Van Gogh Painter| Dutch Art in America|Metro Detroit| Hot Metro Finds |Chicago Art Institute Van Gogh | Detroit Entertainment | Metro Detroit Michigan | Family Entertainment |The Arts

VAN GOGH AND ABSINTHE

Van Gogh gave us a lot in his 37 short years and there are some stories that are rarely repeated. I had found one interesting story in Art News back in the 80’s in a section called Vasari’s Diary. It was so strange that I never forgot it. Even when I repeated the story to people at parties they could hardly believe it. Vincent was really into a drink called Absinthe and it was made out of wormwood, botanicals and it had hallucinogenic properties. He would drink a lot of this and it was mentioned that it affected his vision. It could be the reason why he favored bright yellows and greens in his work. Van Gogh’s finished canvases had a beautiful but unrealistic quality to them.

The story went onto say that when he died there was growth that came through his body in the casket. Apparently there was enough of this Absinthe in his corpse to grow a wormwood root. This plant growth crept out of the coffin and grew into a tree right there in the cemetery. The body had to be cleaned up and the coffin was then relocated. The family was horrified and embarrassed of this. I wish I had kept that issue but I had moved a lot across the country doing advertising gigs and I am sure its long gone. I looked on the web to find some truth to this but you will have to do your own homework.

Absinthe is illegal. They say the real stuff is hard to get in America. Although I have seen versions of it in party stores but didn’t have the heart to try it myself. I am actually afraid of it and that is due in part of Van Gogh. This harsh drink had other horrible implications and some say that it made him crazy. It caused him to do outrageous things like drink his own paint, ( I actually read this back in the 90’s) because he wanted to be close to art itself. The other thing it caused him to do was harm himself.

Vincent Van Gogh in America | DIA |Detroit Institute of Arts Van Gogh | Van Gogh Painter| Dutch Art in America|Metro Detroit| Hot Metro Finds |Chicago Art Institute Van Gogh | Detroit Entertainment | Metro Detroit Michigan | Family Entertainment |The Arts

The story that comes to mind here is when he cut his ear off. That is the popular and contrite version. From here the story gets a much weirder and he gives it to a prostitute who was horrified and beside herself with such a morbid gift. The current narrative now says that he cut only part of his ear off and it was the lower ear lobe. This later version makes a lot more sense to me. Cutting through the entire ear would cause for excessive bleeding. I do believe that one could kill himself by doing this. As it was things were bad enough. The pain was enough to cause Vincent to pass out and hallucinate. He was later put into a mental hospital.

I want there to be upsides in his story. They are there but you really have to look hard for them. There is way too much sadness in his short life. Knowing the back story about Van Gogh is not necessary to appreciate his artwork. But knowing who Vincent was as a person adds so much more dimension to him as a whole.

VAN GOGH’S ARTWORK UNDER REVIEW

It should be noted that Vincent never sold a single piece of art in his lifetime. His brother Theo was his source of income and they were very close. Vincent wrote to his brother faithfully and it is through these letters we are able to piece together some sort of timeline. These letters are the basis for the book, “Lust For Life” by Irving Stone which came out in 1935. This was around the time Vincent was getting some publicity in America after being featured in 50 group art exhibitions. The audience was starting to gather for Van Gogh’s work.

His work was never considered important until these shows. At best, he was considered an oddity, Vincent was very misunderstood in his beloved Arles. There he was an outcast and someone was out of touch. He dwelled among the peasants and brought culture to the barbarians so to speak. They were simple farm people and knew nothing about the hustle and bustle of Paris society. Vincent had turned down a chance to stay and work with the top Post Impressionists of his day by one account. He turned down what could have been a happy existence to paint the countryside that he so loved. Vincent was obsessed with capturing the light. I suppose that he also longed for the solitude that he only knew so well out in the farmlands. He had a very unusual upbringing according to the film, “Loving Vincent” and was born a twin. His brother had passed away and his mother shunned him as a youth which made him very isolated and lonely.

From there he tried his hand at being a preacher but was considered too brash and didn’t connect with the people. Vincent was very passionate about his pursuits and he gave everything he did with great enthusiasm. This is evident with his application of the paint used on his own work. Oil paint has linseed oil in it and it requires considerable amount of time to dry. They didn’t have the different types of mediums we have today to quicken the process back in the late 1800’s. They had to rely on good ol’ time itself and that could take an incredibly long time. I was told that if you took one of his paintings and cut it down the middle with a knife that the inside core of the paint would still be wet. Van Gogh applied the paint so thick that it never fully dried out.

Vincent Van Gogh in America | DIA |Detroit Institute of Arts Van Gogh | Van Gogh Painter| Dutch Art in America|Metro Detroit| Hot Metro Finds |Chicago Art Institute Van Gogh | Detroit Entertainment | Metro Detroit Michigan | Family Entertainment |The Arts

The other thing you would find is that Van Gogh had the tendency to change his mind while working on his art. So underneath a classic might be one or two other paintings that he started. He reused his canvases over again before coming up with a final work of art. After his death his work was considered worthless, discarded and even thrown out. The worst of these stories I heard was that these canvases were used as targets for archery practice.

Even though these pieces were not held in high regard these were created with the best art material money could buy. Even by today’s standards Van Gogh’s artwork was created on really high grade canvas material. This fabric was almost like a heavy burlap and it was very industrial in appearance. Higher end art stores still carry a variation of this and it is the most expensive kind.

VAN GOGH IN DEATH

It is generally assumed that he shot himself. This is the story I grew up with and I never really questioned it until recently. If the storyline in the animated film, “Loving Vincent” is to be taken seriously he was in fact murdered. Vincent was seen as a the village idiot and he was a loner. Children in the village used to follow him around and upon occasion hurl rocks at him and chase him off. According to the film somebody shot Vincent and killed him. The reason for this theory is because of where the bullets entered his body. In order for him to kill himself he would have had to hold the gun at an odd angle. Vincent would have had to have laid down on the ground with a rifle and then pull the trigger to shoot himself. From there he would have walked home to his boarding house and died. The idea of him being murdered offers new insight and brings more intrigue into his troubled legacy.

Theo was most distraught over his injured brother. It was said that he laid by his side and comforted him the best he could until he passed. This death weighed heavy upon his heart and Theo passed away shortly after Vincent. No doubt he died of a broken heart.

Will you be able to put all the pieces together by just looking at the show? Is everything going to be apparent just be viewing the artwork? If these paintings could speak they would tell you the complete story from the very beginning. The brush strokes are very moving and emotional. They are more than just swirls of paint on a canvas. They contain strong feelings of pain, joy, and jubilation. Even when Vincent is locked up in a hospital his paintings carry incredible emotion.

I remember standing at the MOMA looking at one of these asylum pieces and instantly the people around me were moved to tears. One woman standing close to me said, “I wish I had never seen it.” These emotions are frozen on canvas and continue to talk to us even today.

Vincent Van Gogh in America | DIA |Detroit Institute of Arts Van Gogh | Van Gogh Painter| Dutch Art in America|Metro Detroit| Hot Metro Finds |Chicago Art Institute Van Gogh | Detroit Entertainment | Metro Detroit Michigan | Family Entertainment |The Arts

VAN GOGH LEGACY IN MOTION

The works of Vincent Van Gogh continue to speak to people all around the world. In Paris the Atelier Des Lumieres is a museum with digital wall and floor panel installations that immerse you into the art work and letters. The wall panels have animated versions of the paintings and the the palette of Van Gogh comes to life in vivid form. There are full color pop up books that explain the town that Vincent lived in and even details of the house he lived in. Van Gogh was featured in film in the recent years most notably in a segment of the Akira Kurasawa film, “Dreams”. In this segment Van Gogh is played by noted director Martin Scorsese. We now have the animated film, “Loving Vincent” that was created from 65,000 hand painted oil paintings that took 7 years to make at a $5.5 Million price tag. Vincent’s lust for life continues to hold art lovers spellbound and he continues to gather new fans and friends all over the world.

"If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere."

Vincent Van Gogh

For More
Information About The Upcoming Show:
https://www.dia.org/vangoghinamerica


 


ART IN DETROIT !!   

Vincent Van Gogh in America | DIA |Detroit Institute of Arts Van Gogh | Van Gogh Painter| Dutch Art in America|Metro Detroit| Hot Metro Finds |Chicago Art Institute Van Gogh | Detroit Entertainment | Metro Detroit Michigan | Family Entertainment |The Arts

Home :: Van Gogh In America :: Loving Vincent Film :: sitemap ::

©2020 Hot Metro Finds, LLC, All rights reserved

BBQ Nation - Metro Detroit, Michigan
Queen + Adam Lambert - 2014 Tour - Auburn Hills, Michigan
Big Tommys Parthenon Novi, Michigan
 

Valentine Vodka - Ferndale Michgian