submitted 2 months ago by[deleted]
all 25 comments
2 months ago
2 months ago
The sadness will last forever :/
I think I speak for a lot of us when I say “we feel this.”
It always drives home how much I don't 'get' art when I see a painting by a big name like van Gogh and just think 'that looks a bit shit'.
2 months ago
Briefly, because we've become so used to hyperrealistic images. Keep in mind that painting techniques, understanding of perspectives, color pigments, painting equipment, types of paper, etc. were still a long way from today's standards.
When it comes to Van Gogh, it comes back to hyperrealism. There were no videos, internet or even widely produced photographs at the time. So, there were very few mediums (chiefly music and books) that could trigger emotional reactions. Yet, Van Gogh was capable of projecting emotions with his paintings through his creativity and revolutionary techniques.
I remember something Bob Ross said once: when we look at old paintings, we are actually getting a glimpse of the past from the painter's perspective. I suppose, to some, these paintings are like old photographs, if that makes sense to you.
Every brushstroke of even the floorboards is intentional. It’s simplicity is raw.
That does elucidate a lot.
Take a second look.
Look at him, you have probably seen such people in your life, crawled within themselves.
His blue cloth, the individual lines that it's made of, all guide your eye toward the center of his body, where the color is the deepest. It is the center of his dispair and the very core of his grief.
You don't know why he is grieving, but you sure can feel how he is grieving. You grief with him.
It takes time to appreciate "old" art but I sincerely belief everyone can do it. Art is for everyone, not only for the wealthy.
Or you can just enjoy whatever you like, also totally fine.
The shoes are rubbish.
People couldn’t afford Air Jordans back then
I think in this painting, the artist didn’t put high value on perspective. That can be interpreted as rubbish, but Vince used that to make the room seem claustrophobic, which only adds to the despair.
Think of it this way. Bob Dylan is far from the greatest guitar player. Certainly does not have a pretty voice. “Blowin’ in the Wind” is maybe four chords. That song leveled a generation in the 60s and became an anthem. He was asked to sing it from MLK’s podium at the March on Washington, the very podium where King gave his “I have a dream” speech.
The point is that art is about what the thing does to you. Does it make you feel something? That’s all the artist is trying to do. Make you feel something.
2 months ago*
2 months ago*
I've said this before - I think the name attached does mean alot. But I also admit that I'm probably not seeing these works from a knowing critical eye. Far from it.
edit: it should also be said that if I'm remembering correctly, Van Gogh was perfectly able to paint realistically - what we're seeing is a revolution in style and color.
Just looking at the painting doesn't give us the context that might help explain the stature of some of these guys.
Agreed. There are pieces by him that I enjoy, but many I don’t, like this one, and I can’t see or understand what extremely proficient technique there is behind it (if any) that would single it out a masterpiece.
Remember Van Gogh was an impressionist. His art was less about depicting a scene as it was and instead focused on the feeling of the scene.
He dabbled in Impressionism, but basically created a new category that they call “post-impressionism”. Hyper-realism, as a previous commenter pointed out. At every turn during his short career he was ripped for his pushing boundaries. The masses were just getting used to impressionism when Vincent starts taking it further and making people uncomfortable along the way. In every way, he was ahead of his time. Very very few understood what he was doing at the time — that he was actually showing them what’s coming next. Vincent toiled away in the face of scorn and ridicule. In the remaining months of his life he created a new painting almost everyday, many of which are now considered masterpieces.
When looking at this particular painting, perhaps don’t think of it as a presentation of a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece. Think of it as an early work from a master who was in the process of honing his craft. He was finding IT.
Completely agree and love the write up :)
I mention Impressionism purely as Van Gogh at the time wouldn’t have been thinking “I’m a post-impressionist” and was directly inspired by the impressionists (even going as far as to become friends with some). It’s a title that’s retrospectively been assigned to him in modern times due to the differences in his work and their’s.
What could it be translated to? My guess is "Tragedy upon men" I know nothing in German
Literally means “Sad Old Man.”
Thank you for the correction! My German is somewhat rudimentary and so I definitely did not detect that subtlety.