The Van Gogh Exhibition - London
“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream”
I had the pleasure of recently visiting The Vincent Van Gogh Exhibition in London and it was a lovely evening out that I would describe as fun, creative and educational. A definite recommendation whether you are all about art, need some inspiration or just looking for something different to do in London. I was very intrigued from the moment I entered, being greeted uniquely by being offered a sample size cup of Japanese tea; “A taste of Japanese flower tea” this was a representation of how when writing to his brother Theo about how he “Envy the Japanese” becoming inspired by Japanese art.
Born in the Netherlands in 1853 was a man known today as “A rockstar in the art world” by Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most famous artists in the world. He is most famously known as the artist that cut off her ear and is well known for his artwork on flowers, as nature's beauty particularly inspired him including his work on Irises, Roses and his most popular sunflowers.
Van Gogh and the Sunflowers; As I said sunflowers are some of his most well-known works, The sunflowers are an 11 pieces series which are displayed in galleries all across the world. His first Sunflower series was created in 1887 in Paris, this series comprises 4 canvases portraying sunflowers in a vase. The second series is made up of 7 canvases, which he devoted the following years 1888 to 1889 depicting the sunflowers in the vase. He had such a fondness for sunflowers that his casket was embellished with them and in memory, his friend Doctor Gachet planted sunflowers on his grave, such a sweet sentiment way to honour him and his work.
Now I’m not someone that is well knowledgeable of the art world and can express art in big fancy words but I have always had an appreciation for all forms of art, when I look at the sunflowers I look at how the colours complement each other from dark to light and how the subject of the picture is the same yet each canvas is filled with so many differences. Sunflowers are one of my favourite flowers and I love how each picture shows the flowers in a different style and the detail in each style from the stem to the petals, the pollen and the vase. Lastly, I also indulge in how his signature is different in each image created.
Interestingly art was not his first passion, Vincent had a Christian upbringing and he was originally on the path to being a pastor, devoted himself to taking care of the sick and poor following in the religious footsteps of his father Theodorus Van Gogh who was a minister. Vincent Van Gogh created an incredible 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings/sketches in the short life that he had, leaving the world at the young age of 37. When his mental health problems became too much he shot himself and died in France in 1890, it's indeed the sad truth when said that torture artists create the most talented workers.
Van Gogh and his last known work “Tree Roots” was said to be painted hours before he shot himself. This painting was first described as “A jumble of bright lights and Abstract forms” however 130 years later Scientific Director Wouter Van Der Veen discovered the painting was tree trunks and roots. As I said I’m not exactly the best person to talk about art, however when looking at this piece for some reason I get jungle vibes, the colours of blues, browns and beiges all blend well together. As well as the abstract forms through the painting show small details in the back that I see as mountains, I also like how the painting strokes are all very different and he created a unique painting that I feel could be interpreted in many ways.
I like the way the exhibition was staged in a building that's not exactly your typical museum atmosphere it gave more character to the exhibition and I enjoyed the way it was all set out including a life-size of his artwork titled “Bedroom 3 versions” as well as Giant 3D sunflowers around the walls, and the massive portraits of him around the first room I entered. Also, the unique added extras include a room where the walls are filled with loads of colour pictures of Van Gogh's work by people who came to the exhibition. I also found myself in a hypnotic state watching the massive half vase on the wall shadowed with projections of his vase paintings, showcasing his work of “nature's beauty” in a different visual way alongside a video presentation of the story behind his very famous starry night painting. The exhibition was very creative as well as educational as I left learning more about Vincent and his work.
My favourite part of all was the last room, what originally intrigued me to go to the exhibition in the first place was a beautiful and serene atmosphere where you could stand, sit or lay and watch the room fill with Vincent's work, Vincent’s life; A 3D immersive experience, as the entire room fills with natures beauty of flowers, fields and trees, abstract forms. Colours complemented well the moving sounds of orchestra soundtracks, I could have laid there for hours feeling nothing but tranquil vibes. I Would love to have spoken to the creator of the exhibition and asked why Van Gogh? What was the inspiration behind this? I have always envied artists, the way they bring a picture to life how I wish I had the talent to create such inspiring images.
“The way to know life is to love many things” - Vincent Van Gogh