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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Poor Vincent!

Vincent Van Gogh had never been one of my favorite artists. I never could fathom why his artwork was raved about, especially Starry Night. I could not understand all of the swirls in the sky. Why would he make the night sky appear this way? I have seen many a night sky adorned with stars and it never looked that that! A few days ago, I changed my mind.
I happened to see an article on line where a photographer was able to take pictures of the night sky that was able to slow down the path of the stars. 
As I looked at these remarkable pictures, I couldn't help but think I've seen these images before. Then I searched the image of Starry Night.
 Granted, the pictures are not a complete match, but they did have eerie similarities.  As I looked at the oval brushstrokes, I wondered how did Vincent Van Gogh ever think to paint a night sky like this? Did he perhaps see the night sky in a different way than all of us did?
I remembered back in my school days learning that Van Gogh suffered from mental illness. The reason he cut off his ear was because he heard voices and his tortured mind thought this would stop him hearing them.  Being young, I was totally unable to overlook the whole cutting off his ear and didn't want to know any more about him or his artwork.  Unfortunately for me I completely shut down.
Now, I feel empathy for his horrible struggle through life. How awful it must have been for him to only have the canvas as his true companion. The one good thing was that the canvas didn't judge him, but humbly offered itself to his swirling paints and unusual images.  

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