Vincent van Gogh was a genius.
That esteemed term, typically reserved for the few, is far too often granted to the many. However, in the case of the Dutch painter born March 30, 1853, it’s appropriate. Despite only reaching 37 years of age and painted portraits with an expression that balances between indifference and scowling, his legacy is surprisingly inspiring and long-lasting. The way that van Gogh conceptualized the world in colorfully wavy, yet defined spaces screams (sorry, wrong artist) a visionary that captivates people and admirers alike 125 years after he passed away.
His masterpiece is “Starry Night.” As a matter of fact, it’s my personal favorite. On April 12, 2013 at 6:03 p.m. (iPhone picture info.), I was a mere three-feet from this chef-d’oeuvre!
There are many tributes to Vincent van Gogh and to “Starry Night” in particular. The following use of dominoes is truly something else.
“FlippyCat—easily the most patient YouTube celebrity—spent around 11 hours recreating Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night using 7,067 carefully stacked dominoes that were then sent tumbling in a glorious chain reaction.”
–Andrew Liszewski, Gizmodo
Creativity has a tendency to reveal new, unseen dimensions.
It’s like discovering a new constellation.
A starry dream realized.
Arguably one of the (if not the) best paintings in history is “Starry Night” by Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. The swirling images, as told with brush strokes of vivid, other-worldly colors, has mesmerized generations of art lovers and casual viewers alike. This masterpiece has an eternally transcendent quality and that’s why tributes to this famous painting resonate so powerfully.
Someone even dared to take a stroll on this world renowned classic.
“In the Dutch town of Eindhoven, artist Daan Roosegaarde has paid homage to its most famous resident, Vincent Van Gogh, by creating a glowing bike path that relies on solar-powered LED lights and interprets his classic painting Starry Night” (NPR, In a Dutch Town, A Glowing Bike Path Inspired By Van Gogh).
You can close your eyes and imagine what this wild vision would look like, or you can just click on the video below:
You can ride your bike or take a romantic stroll on this glowing masterpiece.
Either way, talk about following a path to the stars.
The incredible power of looking at a painting or sculpture is imagining what the artist was thinking over a period of time that took him or her from a blank sheet, or even nothing at all, to a colorful, even transcendent, finish. What was the thought process? The inspiration? The meaning?
Art is a fantastically ambiguous medium that stirs up emotions and reactions that range from happy and joyful to curious and confusing to sorrowful and heart-breaking to inspiring and magnificent. In some senses, art is universally objective and other times is purely subjective to the viewer.
Starry Night (of the 19th century) is beloved around the world. The perception of a vase from Ancient Greece with a story illustrated around the top rim is more subjective.
I wonder what the defining piece of art will be for the 21st century (so far)? What image or shapes will resonate with entire generations?
I have a strong inkling it won’t be a 2-dimensional painting or marble sculpture, but instead will be an experience.
Ask yourself: What is it like to live in the 21st century?
Whatever you decide, be inventive.