VINCENT OF DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN


 

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Sparhawk oil portrait of Van Gogh, c. 1999

 

“ONE THING I KNOW:  WITHIN A FEW YEARS I MUST BRING A CERTAIN WORK TO COMPLETION….I AM CONCERNED WITH THE WORLD ONLY INSOFAR AS I HAVE, AS IT WERE, A CERTAIN DEBT AND DUTY, BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN ROAMING ABOUT IN IT FOR THIRTY YEARS, AND ALSO BECAUSE I WANT, OUT OF GRATITUDE, TO LEAVE BEHIND A SORT OF REMEMBRANCE IN THE FORM OF DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS–NOT MADE IN ORDER TO PROMOTE THIS OR THAT TREND, BUT ON ACCOUNT OF THEM HAVING IN THEM SOMETHING THAT EXPRESSES A SINCERE HUMAN SENTIMENT. THAT IS THE GOAL OF MY WORK…”

Vincent Van Gogh’s letter to Theo Van Gogh, 1883, from the Hague, on his third year of having begun to be an artist.

I’ve been years writing my autobiography. In it Vincent Van Gogh comes to visit me this one anguished young painter’s night in Brooklyn. I ‘m in my early 20’s, in the clutch of death by brush, not knowing enough to translate my visions to canvas and I have conjured him up. He stays and advises and the most marvelous grand adventures happen in the following year. During which my own story unfolds. My book begins when I am packing up and leaving Yosemite, remembering back decades to that midnight I first saw him.

Constant warfare my whole life.  Like an old soldier now done with war. What were the whirling years, to whom did they  belong.  Not a stranger, no not a stranger.     An earlier me.”

to be continued…………

 

 

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