(AT LEAST) TWO LESSONS FROM VINCENT VAN GOGH

CAREER SUICIDE

20-kirk-douglasVVGLobbyCardThe first lesson is that during the late 1880s Vincent was more or less ignored by everyone in the art world except his brother Theo, and there was absolutely no prospect of any exhibition for Vincent’s work. In spite of this, he set himself the firm and no-excuses goal of making fifty paintings “worthy of exhibition” anyway. In the process he painted some of the works that are regarded as among his best. If I had £1 for every time an artist or a student told me they didn’t have time to make any work, I could probably just live from the proceeds of people saying they don’t have time to be artists. If it’s important to you, MAKE TIME.

The second lesson relates to the damage commerce does to art and artists. It comes from a letter to Theo about the July 1889 sale of a painting by Millet…

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