Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stars In His Eyes

Whilst en route to Hamburg for my latest joint exhibition, we decided to stop off in Arles in the South of France. Art lovers among you will of course remember that Vincent Van Gogh spent over a year in Arles, between 1888 and 1889 and produced his most famous works during that time. Perhaps because of the personal turmoil he suffered during that time, these paintings have become, in my humble opinion, the most powerful paintings he ever produced. Sadly, just over a year later he was to take his own life in tragic circumstances, and a great light of the art world was lost forever. I have always felt touched by Vincent’s work and, along with millions of people the world over, wished I could have known the man personally. As I wandered the streets of Arles, I felt an affinity with a man tortured by instability and yet drawn to a life filled with passion for a lifestyle few can imagine to be all consuming, even to the detriment of his own physical and mental being. I sat in the now named ‘CafĂ© Van Gogh’ and imagined him painting the night time scene oblivious to all who passed. Then we wandered along the banks of the river Rhone to find the spot where he painted the ‘starry night’ so wondrously more than a century ago. I am filled with awe at the sacrifices made in the pursuit of his greatest love, and wish I could have been in his company just once before he died. Sadly, the yellow house is no more, but the colour lives on in many of his paintings. Thank you Vincent - for all your encouraging words in my dreams.

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