Thursday, February 11, 2010

Art, Like Beauty, Is In The Eye of The Beholder

Look at this painting - a bit macabre, wouldn't you say? It's called Skull with Burning Cigarette, and looks like it belongs on the front of a t-shirt. It would be perfect for use as someone's online avatar (if they're of a Gothic bent), or for say... showing up on someone's blog (if that someone leans toward the spooky.) :-)

I found it yesterday when I was doing some research on the book I'm working on, and was shocked to see it that it was done in 1886, by an artist I would never have expected: Vincent Van Gogh.

He did this one, too, which is much more distinctive, utilizing the vivid colors and frenetic brushwork that characterizes much of his general body of work, and is titled, simply, "Skull".

I actually prefer Skull with Burning Cigarette, because it shows a sense of humor I wouldn't have expected to find in someone like Van Gogh - he was evidently a very troubled individual who was extremely lacking in the sense of humor department. All those landscapes, all those still-lifes, a life marred by mental illness and an early death by suicide, four years after painting Skull with Burning Cigarette.

Perhaps he already knew what was coming, and wanted to view Death as a friend, not an enemy. (Yo, Death... can I borrow a ciggie?)

Anyway, I like it. Wouldn't hang it in my living room, but I like it.


Indigo said...

I thought this looked familiar and when I looked up David Sedaris cover for his book, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" sure enough it was there. I always thought the cover was eye cathing. Something about the skeleton smoking is captivating. (Hugs)Indigo

Terri Garey said...

I did not know that! I've been meaning to read When You Are Engulfed in Flames for some time - thanks for reminding me!