The Mobbing of a Superstar

 

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A gallery, MOMA, NY

 

 

 

This painting is in the first room you enter in MOMA’s classical collection of modern art.  The room has two doorways.

 

 

 

 

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A gallery, MOMA, NY

 

 

 

At the farthest corner from both doorways and beyond a vitrine which slows the traffic towards that corner hangs this painting of van Gogh.

Next to it Henri Rousseau’s ‘The Sleeping Gypsy’ sleeps undisturbed (1897, oil on canvas.  Henri Rousseau, 1847-1910, French).

 

 

 

 

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The Starry Night, St. Remy, June 1889, oil on canvas.  Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890

 

 

 

Mobbed for all the hours the museum is open, it is difficult to get an untrammeled view of the painting.  

 

Placed any closer to either door and the painting would disrupt traffic in and out of this room so as to need constant clearing.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Starry Night, St. Remy, June 1889, oil on canvas.  Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890

 

 

 

Guards always close to this painting because people want to get close to the surface as if they want never to forget the experience of its physical presence.

 

 

 

 

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Detail of The Starry Night, St. Remy, June 1889, oil on canvas.  Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890

 

 

 

 

You note that it was painted one year before the artist’s suicide and while he was in an asylum in southern France.

 

 

 

 

 

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Detail of The Starry Night, St. Remy, June 1889, oil on canvas.  Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890

 

 

 

It is a representation made during daylight hours of a night view which the artist knew to be descriptively true, descriptively untrue and which he also imagined.

 

 

 

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The Starry Night, St. Remy, June 1889, oil on canvas.  Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890

 

 

 

With colours which he knew to be descriptively true, descriptively untrue and symbolically and emotionally true. 

 

 

 

A representation of the way we (may) see, imagine and live our lives. 

 

 

An image which, for its boldness of  design, colour, intent and execution, and for the difficulties of its creator’s life and for his early death, has long ago entered into us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Mobbing of a Superstar

  1. That’s a very nice interpretation. I like that the colors and representation can be both descriptively true and untrue. And it’s symbolically and emotionally true. I didn’t realize it before. That’s probably why it has such a mass appeal.

    1. Like with the shoes, I think of the date 1889. The long fight against the (French) establishment away from those large paintings about ‘serious’ subjects etc. and how van Gogh struck out like this. We live in his world, now!

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