Monday, October 31, 2011

van gogh did not shoot himself?

this comes as an incredible shock to someone who wrote his first good play at 23 about van gogh and gauguin in the south of france. mainly, cause like most of his generation, he accepted van gogh as the image of christ, sacrificing himself for the beauty of art.

here's a quote from the news: In Van Gogh: The Life, a 976page doorstop published this week, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith say it's more likely that the celebrated Dutch post-Impressionist painter was the victim of an accidental shooting. The suspected perpetrators: a couple of teenage bullies obsessed with American cowboys and playing with a gun, and protected on his deathbed by van Gogh claiming an act of suicide.

oddly, in a way this makes him more of a saint, refusing to disclose the identity of his killers in order to protect them. yet, any disturbance to our view of an icon unsettling, to say the least. t0 those who wish to believe in the artist as hero, especially the artists themselves, this comes as a blow. we've always prided ourselves on suffering until dead when we're discovered.

with the myth exploded, how can we continue to live in 9 by 10 rooms, storing our drawings and manuscripts in a rented storage space (me)? true, had van gogh lived another year he'd have found himself celebrated and paid as a painter, the saintly image discarded. and who was it said, 'many have quit just as they were about to succeed?'

let's face it, the art-world overwhelmed by the productive slaving in their studios. once they could have made chairs, pewter dishes, walking canes. alas, these occupations have gone the way of horse-drawn buggies. everyday i look through design and art books at the bookstore over my cafe americano. and for all the liberation of post-modernism, the power of a van gogh and gauguin missing.

duchamp created the copy of the copy as artifact, and his command incredible prices. television cannibalized the movies and history. starting in 1950 every attempt at art a facsimile of the past. what has artistic freedom done to us? confused the whole picture!

van gogh and gauguin in the south of france: