Van Gogh Dead

I attended Van Gogh Alive tonight to experience some culture for thirty minutes.

I was promised an "incredible multi-sensory experience", which I thought would be a challenge in 2021 where touch is prohibited and breathing through your nose is strongly discouraged. Nonetheless there was sight and sound, and the marquee on an empty lot was considerably warmer than my living room.

I'm not an art critic. I am privileged enough to have seen Starry Night in (puzzle form and in) person at the MOMA and my recollection of the minute I saw that piece was that it blew away every other bit of artwork in that entire museum. Something about the brushwork and the texture and the colour and the size of the thing just made it leap off the wall. The rough, bumpy strokes meant nothing alone, but combined they forced my brain into seeing a half-real, half-fantasy night sky.

Despite the giant displays and sound effects, having Van Gogh's portfolio rammed through my eyes at a steady pace did not compare to the moment in the MOMA. It was informative and comprehensive, and there was plenty of vibrancy and brushstrokes to appreciate, but I'm not sure the digital enhancements or selfie-taking crowd really enriched the experience. I don't think this is the best way to immerse yourself in impressionist paintings.

I suspect Vincent might agree.

I suspect Vincent might agree.


After all that culture I went home and drank a beer and watched some sport.

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