Loving Vincent.

The Van Gogh sockyarn came, handdyed by Wolop:

And today I went to the exhibition that accompanies the movie Loving Vincent. In the exhibition the original paintings that were used in the movie can be seen.

It was a wonderful experience, seeing in paint how the contemporary artists communicated with the original artist, Van Gogh, about and through style, colours and composition.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

My handmade dress was appropriately coloured:
UntitledUntitled

Lovely thick layers where used. The 3D of the paintings is a thing in Van Gogh’s art. Happy to see it in the movie-paintings too:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van GoghLoving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I particularly liked this next modern painting, because of the colours:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

The big planes of yellow and blue (choosing thàt particular yellow against thàt particular blue), the vertical greenblueish stroke at her upperlip, the horizontal colours on the right side (purple, yellow, greens).

This next one I liked very much too, again because of the chosen colours. Thàt red with thàt green. Also the slight pink/rose in the left side of her dress, echoing with the red of the carpet on the right. A red carpet that has dashes of green in it:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I also love the composition. This one is about colour blocks.

At the end they showed the new works next to the original works that inspired them:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The original on the right is far less about the composition and more about the character of the dress and the person(ality) of the woman. Seen next to each other the 21st century art is a nice piece of art. The 19th century piece however is magnificent art, in my opinion.

The yellow on the wall is less contrary (and therefor less at ease) to the colours of the dress. The carpet seems more brown, this is not red agains green talking, this is warm against cool but in such slight handed ways.

And who cares about the composition of horizontals and verticals? Is that our De Stijl architectural experiences that are all grained into us? Van Gogh knew the inspirations for it as he had studied Japanese prints. He knew about orthogonality. Yet he never chose to make it a thing in his paintings.

In this painting we have to talk about her silhouet, against that of the piano, in that negative space between its side and her front. The paino with it’s broken top line. And that whimsical chair leg. Outrageous.

I ended up spending a long time at the wall with the new works next to their inspirations. It’s where my opinion grew strong: Van Gogh is much about free hand while the movie is not.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I think the modern artists got hindered -or rather I suppose it was a conscious decision- by their skill in proportions of the human figure. Van Gogh abandoned those, and in the process ended up saying specific things about the individual he was painting.
The modern artists painted real people but they are interchangable for other, real people.

For example, I know at least 3 actors who can play the man on the left:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The modern artists painted real people and real boats. There’s a real brown boat on the foreground of the left painting. In the right one there’s something brown that interacts with the water… it may carry a person but it also may dissolve in the movements of the river. Enter at own risk.

What do you think: on the left perhaps someone who is too habitually skilled in perspective?
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
While on the right someone trying to convey something in dabs of colour? Using strong lines to talk about masses and texture (an interesting choice because usually texture is shown with small scale things like shading, grading, stippling).

Look at the roof in the bottom paintings, Van Gogh’s roof looks heavy and wet. The repair man will need to mold it, like clay, it seems. Put against that ridiculous light coloured sky above it! Things are happening in that sky, I wouldn’t be surprised it some birds have just tumbled out of sight.
The modern painted roof is made of reet. Sunkissed reet. If the wind is strong ome reet plumes may fly away today. Luckily the sky does not suggest wind.

Aye! Lots of opinions of me, indeed. But I am so strongly interested in colour interactions and how artists use them that this is what bubbles up in me. As a viewer of paintings these topics start a conversation in my head whenever I spend time with a piece of art.

So let me say here that my opinions are not criticism. They are things I want to talk about with the makers of the movie and the paintings, because they got to talk to Van Gogh, trough intense study of his work.

They had a marvelous time. Look how this beard is all blue! Not a speck of white, not even in the eyes:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I do have some criticism but I doubt it’s interesting to read. For example,I’d probably should see the film to be more friendly about the next pairing:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
As shown here Van Gogh talks about the sky and the fields and the movements. The film still does not, it talks about the man in the cart, even more so if he gets smaller and smaller and rides to the horizon. I would have put it in reverse: start with the clouds and the fields, end up with the man (but not as big as this).
Perhaps they did in the film.

As I have not seen the movie I luckily did not see any of these paintings move. That is a whole new kettle of fish to discuss. Van Gogh very much tried to talk about movement in a non-moving medium.

If you are going to make a movie, how to decide how the stills will move?Why make people move naturally when he didn’t paint them naturally? But an unnatural movement would probably make the viewing of the movie difficult for the public. We are used to natural movement.

What sky movement would Van Gogh want to show? What raven’s wing clap? Not the ones of natural raven, right?
A very interesting question.

The differences between Van Gogh and Loving Vincent irk me. Yet I could not have stand a clear copy of the originals works either. The makers of the movie got to insert their own opinion, vision, signature into the movie and that’s a good thing.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I would have done it differently. Every artist would probably have. I’d have LOVED to dive into these works for so long and take them as a departure to tell the passionate story of the movie, using the medium of oil paintings. A very nice project and a very nice exhibition.

 

Advertisements