Saturday, October 18, 2008

Van Gogh's Colors of the Night

MoMA is featuring the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh which focus on the night, sunsets and nocturnal landscapes and interiors. It's a very moving show which features some of his actual letters to Theo and the gorgeous "The Starry Night over the Rhone" and, of course, "The Starry Night," which Don McLean made famous in his song about Vincent. There are paintings in this exhibit I've never seen before such as "Night" (after Millet) and "The Dance Hall in Arles," in which you can see Gauguin's influence. Every time I see Vincent's paintings, I'm so touched to witness up close and personal brush strokes, the effervescence of his colors and the special touches of himself in every painting. Van Gogh is a rock star - the most famous artist to ever live - and that is evidenced by every showing of his work where the lines are a mile long just to get in and how difficult it is just to see the paintings up close. But it's well worth the pain because he himself went through hell to create these paintings in the first place. In his Poetry of the Night, I could imagine him with his straw hat filled with candles struggling with his paints traipsing across the landscapes in the darkness to capture twinkling lights and a beauty all his own.