Starry Night-By Vincent Van Gogh
I’ve seen Van Gogh’s paintings in Target before. Not the originals of course! To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of them. I guess you could say, I’ve never understood them. This is my fault, not Van Gogh’s, because I never took the time to research his art. Low and behold, two pages of my Abnormal Psychology book are dedicated to him! I thought, what in the world would a painter be doing in a mentally ill section.
Before I continue, I’ve learned the lesson tonight that people often become defined by their work or fame. Though many people today would give their right arm to be recognized by strangers, it is in a sense a downfall because often that is ALL that defines celebrities. The public never really learns who these people are behind their art, movies, and talents.
Let’s take a moment and find out…
FACTS ABOUT VINCENT VAN GOGH
He was a post-impressionist painter
He was incredibly poor and moved around often
He suffered from an unknown mental illness (Psychiatrists still disagree on the diagnosis)
After cutting off a piece of his ear to give to a prostitute as a gift (due to high fever), he was committed into a hospital psyche ward for a year
Vincent found inspiration for many of his paintings in scenery surrounding his asylum
He only sold ONE painting during his lifetime
On July 29, 1890 Van Gogh walked out into a field and shot himself
Two days later he died
Later, in 1990 his Portrait of Dr. Gachet sold for $82.5 million
This is one of the most expensive paintings ever sold
Unfortunately, there were not many options for psychological disorders back then as there are today. Who knows where he could have gone with his art. His death reminds me of Sylvia Plath’s. Both Plath and Van Gogh shared the same death and fame after their deaths.
The moral to the story is to never judge a book by its cover. It’s always important to flip through the pages to make absolute sure that we cannot make a connection with it. Yesterday, I could have cared less about Vincent Van Gogh. Tonight, I wish him and I could have a long conversation over dinner. I feel we could have been friends in that we both came from low-income families, faced extreme insecurity, and suffered from depression. It’s a shame….
All information for this post was found in Abnormal Psychology by Susan Krauss Whitbourne and Richard P. Halgin (18-19)