Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night

It's only Thursday, why am I talking about weekend topic - art ? Just because man shall not live by bread alone, we should not talk about money all the time. Sometimes we need to talk a bit about more abstract side of life - art, music, health, cooking, gardening, etc. Investing a bit of time in some of these activities will benefit our souls.

Impresionism art movement is one of my favorites. We may take the style for granted as the objects are simple, child-like or the icons are simply become too popular. I still cannot forget the images of the real works, especially Van Gogh's works, when I saw them in Amsterdam, Paris and New York. The images were so fresh even though I saw them quite a number of years back. When you see the "real things", you will be amazed with the "brush marks" of which they created practically by squezing the paint fresh out from the tube. The movement of the short lines that they created will really evoke your senses. I can stare at it for hours.

In those days, around late 18 to early 19 century, the world was dominated by the elites. In France, they gathered in places called salons - basically a gathering of intellectual, social, political, and cultural elites. In those days, all the artistic productions in France was controlled by formal academies which organized official exhibitions called art salons. They have a lot of rigid rules to determine how a good painting should look like. What they have done basically producing whole bunch of ass-kissing artists a.k.a. conformists. Here is an example(Liberty Leading the People), you can see the triangle composition that creating a very strong composition impact. Even though the message of the painting was quite radical as they used women as a hero but the method they employed was still pretty much an ass-kissing style.

Back to the triangle that I was talking about, it can be traced way back to Leornado Da Vinci on the Golden ratio of 1:1.618.

Is the 0.618 ratio familiar to you? O yea, remind me of the Fibo but we are not talking about stock market today.

When you got some instituitions or mainstream dominating and dictating how things should be done, this will surely create discontent. A growing discontent finally led to revolution. A group of painters began to organize themselves to exhibit their works because they were sick of being rejected by the art establishments. The word impresionist was used as an insult to the salons. They broke all the rules of academic painting. No more indoor works - still life or potraits, they went outdoor -landscape, building etc. They don't mixed color very well and brushed freely, a lot of short lines.

Everytime I look at impresionists' paintings, they remind me of how radical were theirs works at that time.

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