I'm not even kidding. I searched "Starry Night" on Etsy and got over 5,500 results!
I usually try to be unique and not necessarily follow the trends, but I must admit that I am a fan of the huge following Van Gogh has gained in recent years. And no, I don't like his work just because it's popular, and I do in fact know about him. And I'm pretty sure I knew about him before Starry Night exploded onto every object imaginable.
With those two facts stated, and I can tell you that I have a 2,000 piece puzzle, an umbrella, and a matted print of Starry Night. I'd probably have a lot more Starry Night things, but unfortunately I'm broke. Also I am willing to admit to you, my favorite readers, that I thoroughly enjoyed the Van Gogh episode of Doctor Who (I'm a closet fan of the Doctor).
So with all those facts and admissions out of the way, let me tell you why I like Starry Night and Vincent van Gogh.
I like Starry Night because I love stars, and it makes me think of that night in Michigan when I saw the northern lights amid all the abundant stars of the Michigan sky (to read more about that experience, hop over to this post).
I like Vincent van Gogh because
- As a kid I painted a copy of this bad boy in art class:
"Starry Night Over the Rhone"
- He was the perfect example of "troubled artist", "starving artist", "moody artist", and all those other little phrases. He had some very real problems, and he used art to express himself.
- His work is certifiably awesome.
With all the hype over Starry Night, I decided I need to find a lesser-known painting of his that I can claim as my "other" favorite, to avoid looking too mainstream. So this, Wheatfield With Crows, is another of my favorites of his. I think I like it because it's a little creepy; one gets a sense of foreboding when looking at it (or at least I do). It makes me want to read horror stories like those of Edgar Allen Poe (another pop culture sensation that I thoroughly enjoy).
I also like Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, because it too is creepy. It looks like it should be some modern anti-smoking campaign, and the image has probably been used for that, but this is a real and honest 19th century Van Gogh painting. It's hanging on some wall in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. It's awesome.
I also love his many paintings of sunflowers, one of which I copied earlier this year.
Yes, Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. I say this not to be mainstream of to follow the crowd, but out of a real love for his work. And I'm so proud of Van Gogh, because despite his failings, depression, unpopularity during his life, and possible insanity, he's managed to post-humously become an immeasurable success story. His story gives me hope. Not to say that I'm the next Van Gogh or something, but rather in the sense that a person's sphere of influence doesn't stop at their death. Van Gogh reminds me that I have the potential to impact people and society even after I'm gone, and a lack of "success" in my life doesn't mean I'm doomed to anonymity (though anonymity isn't a big fear for me--I'm far more afraid of heights, spiders, and developing arthritis!).
P.S. There's a new Etsy listing in town! Hop on over and check out my new Sanctuary Print =)