Past Sunday artists around the world celebrated
the 155th birthday of Vincent Willem van Gogh. The Dutch Post-Impressionist artist who produced some of the world's most famous and most expensive art pieces spent all his lite as a poor man. After trying careers as an art dealer, teacher, and even a preacher, Van Gogh became a self-taught artist at the age of 27 and produced over 2000 works in his life time, the most famous ones in his last two years.
Ironically his art was unpopular at the time, Van Gogh hardly sold any of his works during his life, and lived as a "starving artist" relying on a modest monthly support from his brother Theo.
To celebrate the 155th birthday of Vincent van Gogh, photoshop his paintings any way you wish. Some examples are: modernize his paintings by including modern objects, sceneries, or people; merge parts of Van Gogh's paintings with other famous paintings; commercialize his works by turning them into advertisements for modern products; turn them into billboards, etc. These are just some ideas.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was a Dutch painter and graphic artist and is an outstanding representative of post-impressionism along with Cezanne and Gauguin. During his lifetime, only one painting was sold. Poverty, alcoholism and episodes of mental illness led the artist to commit suicide. Though Van Gogh's creative life continued for only 10 years, it was extraordinarily successful: 800 paintings were made by the painter. His early works, representing predominantly the life of peasants, are somber enough with respect to color and mood. However, after moving to Paris in 1886, when the artist was under the influence of impressionism and Japanese color engraving on wood ("The Guilty World"), his works became brighter with respect to coloring and more varied in regard to subjects - landscapes, portraits and still-life. If mainly color interested the impressionists as a means of conveying nature for Van Gogh, who wrote by wide vortex-like strokes, it was a symbol of expressive means. In 1888, the artist moved to Arles, where he created many paintings but suffered from frequent nervous breakdowns, hallucinations and depression episodes. Gauguin visited Van Gogh and once they quarreled and in madness, Van Gogh cut-off a portion of his ear. For the last 70 days of his life, he painted 70 pictures. After his death, the fame of the artist quickly grew. The emotional depth of his creativity made a huge impact on art of the 20th century, particularly on fauvism and expressionism.
In 1880, Van Gogh took to art, visited the Academy of arts in Brussels (18801881) and Antwerp (18851886), used the advice of the painter Anton Mauve in Hague and excitedly painted miners, peasants and craftsmen. In a series of paintings and etudes of the middle 1880s ("Peasant", 1885, Otterlo, Kroller-Muller Museum; "The Potato Eaters", 1885, Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum), he painted in a dark picturesque gamut, marked with an acute painful perception of human suffering and feelings of depression, the artist recreates the anguish atmosphere of psychological intensity.
In 18861888, Van Gogh lived in Paris, visited a private art studio, studied impressionism painting, Japanese engraving and Paul Gauguin's synthetic creations. During this period, Van Gogh's palette became bright, earth colors disappeared and pure blue, golden-yellow and the red shade colors appeared, characteristic for his dynamic with streaming strokes ("Siene with the Pont da la Granda Jette", 1887, Amsterdam, Van Gogh State museum; "Portrait of Pere Tanguy", 1887, Paris, Rodin Museum).
In 1888 Van Gogh moved to Arles, where the originality of his creativity was finally defined. The ardent art temperament, the painful impulse to harmony, beauty and happiness and simultaneously, the fears before forces, hostile to a person, find an embodiment in the shining solar colors of the south landscapes ("Harvest at La Crau with MontMajour in the background", 1888, Amsterdam, Van Gogh State museum), in ominous images, like a night nightmare ("Night café", 1888, private meeting, New York); the dynamics of colors and strokes filled with spiritual life and movement, not only to the nature and people occupying it ("The Red Vineyard in Arles", 1888, A.S. Pushkin's State museum of fine arts, Moscow), but also inanimate objects ("The Bedroom of Van Gogh in Arles", 1888, Vincent Van Gogh's State museum, Amsterdam).
In his last years, the tense works of Van Gogh were accompanied with episodes of mental illness, which forced him to be admitted into a mental hospital in Arles, then in Saint Remy (18891890) and in Auvers - Sur- Oise, where he committed suicide on July 27, 1890 by a lethal pistol shot. According to his brother Theo, who was with Vincent during his final moments, these were the last words of the artist: La tristesse durera toujours ("the grief will last eternally")