Artist of the week: Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was a talented artist who was unfortunately fighting mental illness, which led him to his suicide. However, it wasn’t all trouble for Van Gogh, his art did help him stay emotionally balanced, for most of his life. His famous oils paintings include The Starry Night, Sunflowers, Irises, and Cafe Terrace at Night.
Van Gogh painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits (including self-portraits). His first painting was Potato Eaters, created in 1885. He studied with artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Camille Pissaro. His oil painting techniques featured flat and bright colours. Van Gogh also incorporated throbbing, sinuous lines, choppy brushstrokes, as well as bold composition. His choice of colours was influenced by his emotional response to an object, as opposed to its physical appearance.
The Starry Night is a view of a small French town called Saint-Rémy. There’s a sense of turbulence in the sky with expressive of colour, showing nature with a visionary frenzy. This artwork has a mix of conflict, struggle, and even restless excitement, without any sense of distress. The chilling darkness of this oil painting submerges the ecstatic palette and rhythms that became compulsive. When Van Gogh painted this artwork in 1889, he was battling mental illness. However, his emotional self-preoccupation wasn’t obvious in the oil on canvas.
Flora Habbab, BFA