Van Gogh 's Starry Night

1991 WordsNov 4, 20168 Pages
Some of the most renowned artists use their work to express key aspects of their ‘lives’; many use personal affairs as motivation to create some of their most new and most greatest works. It can be assumed that artist’s with mental illnesses ‘have no choice but to express their lives’; using art as their escape. Which makes me question what was their state of mind and motivation in the creation of some of their famous works, for example Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. The expressive work of Van Gogh and the abstract mark making of De Kooning leads me to ask the question "can artists escape their mental illnesses by expressing themselves through their application of paint, colour, shape and mark-making?" I am interested in how artists have used…show more content…
One can’t do without it; one must make use of it. What looks beautiful, really beautiful — is also right.” Van Gogh had many renowned illnesses two of which being bipolar and extreme case of depression. 21st century critics assume that it was these illnesses that tainted his view of the world around him. Which is perhaps evident in one of his latest and greatest’s works “starry night”; His dramatic brush strokes of swirling clouds and illuminated stars creates a fast moving pace which your eyes continually follow across the sky (this is a prime example of an artist having no choice but to express their lives – Van Gogh paints the distorted view he saw around him in Paris). This style of painting contrasts to other famous artists and art movements of this century such as Gaugin’s landscape of the ‘isolated house’; his piece is calm, warm and realistic a typical country landscape. Although both landscape pieces express a different tone and mood through colour, the texture of their pieces contrast as “starry night” creates a fast moving pace where Gaugin’s piece is very still, there is no movement. This perhaps is Gaugin’s experience of this place he admires everything around him and wishes it to remain still. Furthermore, the large dark isolated tree in the front of Van Gogh’s piece could be perceived to be Van Gogh’s isolation from everyone around him side effects of his mental illness (which again isolated him from friends and family
Open Document