Things are going well for me here, I have a wonderful home and it’s a great pleasure for me to observe London and the English way of life and the English themselves, and I also have nature and art and poetry, and if that isn’t enough, what is?
Letter to Theo van Gogh, January 1874
A few weeks ago I went to London and saw the Van Gogh exhibition shown at the Tate Britain. Now, Van Gogh isn’t exactly up-and-coming and we have all seen various shows featuring his famous works. This particular exhibition though left me elevated and inspired. So much so that it still is very much fresh in my mind. This is why I decided to write about it here, even though the exhibition has ended a few days ago.
One thing that stroke me about the exhibition was the original angle chosen by the curators : Van Gogh’s relationship with England, and how he influenced modern British art. For once, the emphasis wasn’t so much on his many life struggles dealing with poverty, mental illness and lack of recognition, but on his life as a young man moving to London to work for an art dealer. This brings me to my second point: I learned SO MUCH about Van Gogh’s life thanks to this exhibition – like how he enjoyed walking along the Thames every day to go to work, or how he loved prints and collected over two thousands throughout his life. I also found out that he started drawing when he was writing letters to his family back in Holland. He would describe familiar sceneries and sites and would often add drawings for better understanding. He was also very moved by the life conditions of the working class and this concern is visible in his paintings.
All in all, the exhibition enlightened me on Van Gogh’s inspirations and life choices that then brought him to become one of the most important artist of the 19th century.
Sadly, the exhibition is now over, but I strongly encourage you to get the exhibition catalogue if you are interested in Van Gogh’s life.
Have you ever heard of Berthe Morisot? Neither had I. Until very recently – a couple of weeks ago to be precise, when I saw her work at the Musée Marmottan-Monet, I had never heard of or seen any of Morisot’s work. Even though she was one of the main figures of the impressionist movement. What a shame! It makes me wonder as to the reason why? Is it because of bad luck or missed opportunities? Or is it because, as a female artist, her work isn’t as famous as her counterparts such as Monet or Renoir?
In any case, I am glad I found her because her work, which is currently exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, shows so much talent and dare that it would have been a shame to miss it.
Working mainly on figures and portraits, Morisot uses her painting to document modern life, particularly the life and status of women in the 19th century. Using her personal technique of nervous brush strokes that sometimes approached abstract art, she sometimes decided not to paint the whole canvas to point the focus entirely on the subject of the painting, usually absorbed into a reverie.
Morisot’s work is poetic, beautiful and in a way, avant-garde. It demands contemplation. You can do so if you’re in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay until Sept. 22nd.
Lorraine Loots paints teeny tiny scenes (smaller than a pound coin) with great details, colours and shading. She started this project on the 1st of January, 2013 and thought that it could be a nice little idea to stick to everyday. It then became bigger when people started booking days and requesting a specific idea to be drawn. Can I just buy them all?
(via Frankie Magazine)
These pretty ladies have been tattooed all over by Scotland-based artist Jessica Harrison. Using vintage ceramic statuettes of young women of high society, she gives them a little twist by painting tiny detailed tattoos. These add a tough and rebellious touch to the little ladies, and I couldn’t love them more.
(via My Modern met)
Hospitals being such terribly depressing places, 15 artists have been commissioned to redecorate the London Children’s hospital. The result is a mix of patterns, animals, flowers and above all bold colours, that will hopefully brighten up some of the little patients.
Such a good idea!
For more information, visit Vital Arts.
Christopher Gee is an English painter who creates moody and beautiful scenes. He usually paints small intimate portraits of animals and sad boys. He takes his inspiration from folk art and northern Renaissance painting. These mysterious scenes, dominated by the moon, an eclipse or simply a very dark night make the viewer feel like they are entering a story and something is about to happen.
In Will Cotton‘s world, houses are made of gingerbread and clouds of candy floss. Naked women lavish in cream and sweet bubbles, wear lollipop hats and ride whipped cream giant fish. I want to be part of his world and spend my entire life licking my surroundings.