I have to send more spam for work today. Some more styles we’re trying to get rid of. The last time, just for fun, I put the pictures of the outfits we’re hawking in front of a Renoir landscape… and people liked it… they made our clothes look sunnier, classier…
I thought I’d try that again, but this time with a Van Gogh.
Renoir probably hummed a happy tune, picked up his easel when he was done, and went home and did happy things. Who knows. I don’t know anything about him.
I know a lot about Van Gogh, and it’s there in every one of his pieces. Even this one; a wheat field, just past noon on a breezy, warm summer day. You can tell all this from looking at the painting; you can feel the breeze, very lightly moving the stalks around. A perfect, summer day.
But then, clawing around the edges, in the bold blacks used for shadows, shadows darker than you would ever see on such a summery day, despair. On the most beautiful days – and I’ve read by those who’ve seen the originals, positively glowing with new paints never before available so that the brights are brighter and more vibrant than can be seen on a screen – blackness. In his later landscapes, the blackness becomes more overtly menacing, but it’s here, everywhere he looked. He couldn’t see the light without the darkness beneath it.
I despair of a world where we would cure Vincent of his madness as a child, where he would become a Ritalin-doped farmer, never seeing any shadows and never telling the world about them. And yet, looking at these masterpieces, feeling his pain, I just want to help him and make him better, so he can have some peace and happiness.
Stephen King wrote a short story, “The Langoliers“. Langoliers were creatures that followed just behind the present, eating the useless past. All the present could do was keep running ahead of the voracious beasts who left only nothingness behind.
Van Gogh saw each bright moment chased by darkness.
Just got a call from the sales manager. She thinks the background draws too much attention from the clothes, and maybe she should look over what I send before I send things.
Well, I think the clothes look boring without something to look at. Clothes on mannequins is so… static, and (deliberately) without context. Anyway, I guess my Fine Arts (With Clothes) experiment ends here.
And aren’t I happy nobody from work knows about this blog. I hope.