Thursday, December 16, 2010

Starry Night, Van Gogh

Van Gogh’s paintings are not normally put into the category of “the irrational.” There topics and subject matter are discernible, but his style and depiction of these elements are what stretches over into the creative, atypical realm. Take “Starry Night” for instance. We understand that those glowing, swirling orbs are stars, but his portrayal of them is one that takes us out of our universe. We see them as the pulsing orbs of gas that they are and with a strength rarely witnessed on earth. The wind itself has become visible, and not just through the effects it has on trees and ground-bound objects. The moon, though clearly a crescent moon in the real world scene he is aiming to depict, glows with such intensity that it appears to illuminate the full circle of itself. The landscape itself is not specifically important: the focus becomes the sky and the cypress tree which is obstructing the full viewing of it. The irrational does not necessarily imply ridiculous or otherworldly in every case, just a new way of seeing.

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