Friday, May 25, 2007

Defacing the masters


"I've just seen a face,
I can't forget the time or place"
--Lennon and McCartney

I obviously have an affinity for Van Gogh.We had this set of Child Craft books when I was growing up. One showcased the art of the masters, including Van Gogh. I was always drawn to his Starry, Starry Night. I would stare at it and just feel what Van Gogh was feeling when he painted it (or what I thought he felt). Years later when I was picking out wedding rings, I was drawn to a wedding set that was patterned after the painting.

In the early 90s I was visiting London and went to the National Gallery. I almost cried when I saw an original Van Gogh painting. It was Van Gogh's Chair and then his painting of Sunflowers. They were amazing. I had never felt such emotion in the presence of a painting before.

It was only recently through the miracle of Photoshop that I discovered a way to truly be part of Van Gogh's art. I've morphed my face into three of his self portraits. And for some reason it triggers some of the same emotions I felt when I first laid eyes on a Van Gogh painting.

I know that some probably view this as defacing a master. But I like to think that Van Gogh would be flattered that I admired his work so much that I literally wanted to become part of it. After all, Van Gogh would often taste his paints in an attempt to immerse himself in the color. And it's not like I'm copying his work the way an art student would. I'm immersing myself in it.

Let's face it, it's one thing to look at art from the outside. I like to think of this as looking at the art from the inside.
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