I’d heard about him for years. Stories so strange they were hard to believe. He was different. His work was different. It was like he tried to do things the same as others but he just saw life in his own way.
Then one day, a singer produced a record album with a mega hit. On that same album was his tribute to this beautiful artist, Vincent. For me, Don McLean humanized Vincent Van Gogh. His lyrics showed the beauty of Van Gogh’s talent as well as”how he suffered for his sanity.”
Through this song, I began to see Van Gogh’s art in a new way. It may have been that the 1960’s and 1970’s were the perfect time to popularize a man who had been dead 70+ years. His colors were our colors. In these turbulent times, his interpretation of turbulence was not only artistically pleasing and spoke to us but it was scientifically accurate. He correctly captured the luminance of light patterns with his colors even though the art world of his time ridiculed him.
Intelligence is measured on what is widely accepted to be fact. Vincent Van Gogh was able to see through the cloud of common knowledge and discover a new world. That is why his contribution to art, and apparently science, is so profound. There in his paintings are lessons we should examine and learn from. In McLean’s Vincent, he muses, “Now I understand, what you tried to say to me…they did not listen,,,they are not listening still…” Might be a good time to listen, open one’s heart and explore the world through someone as beautiful as you.
I took this photo of his painting entitled “Green Wheat Fields Auvers in 2014 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Vincent had painted it in his feverish last days. Van Gogh died July 29, 1890.