Vincent Van Gogh is the artist that most inspired me to become an artist. It was a great experience to watch Loving Vincent, and I found it extremely thought provoking and inspiring. The film is an experience to say the least, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. For anyone who is an artist, dabbles in art at all, loves art or knows and artist, or loves the work of Vincent Van Gogh, this is a must see. I’m going to break it down into a few key points as to why you should carve out 95 mins of you life to learn and experience VVG’s art and life as never before, and it couldn’t be a more interesting ((and true!)) story.
From an Artist Point of View
I’ve always deeply loved Vincent Van Gogh’s work, and it is definitely one of the main points of inspiration that lead me to becoming an artist myself. Having started creating work at age 28, and dying at age 37, Van Gogh was intensely prolific but only sold 1 painting during his lifetime. The burden of his fervent, creative mind as well as a dysfunctional childhood and young-adulthood were the cornerstones to his tragic story. He is now hailed as a founding father of modern art, and it pains me that he never saw his art make the impact that it made and is still making. After watching this film, which is animated using hand painted oil paintings, my mind was burning with inspiration, and everywhere I looked I saw the potential of a scene to paint. I can only imagine this is what it was like to walk around as Vincent on a daily basis, nearly consumed by vision, and constantly trying to not be incapacitated by it.
As an Art Lover/Supporter of Artists
The film is beautifully animated, and each second is a treat for your eyes. They incorporate 120 of VVG’s actual paintings, and the characters in the film are subjects from his work. The story is woven together from his actual letters to friends and family to tell the story of his life and death. You will gain a deeper appreciation for art, painting, and that screw loose that most artists have– and must have– in order to be driven to create. The people around him who saw his potential supported and loved him for who he was, which he desperately needed.
As A Parent
It is heartbreaking to learn about the disappointment VVG felt he was to his family. As he passed through failure after failure career wise, the depiction of the need he had for pleasing his parents nearly had me in tears. It was the support of his brother that even enabled him to create art (and get mental help) but in the end the guilt of the burden he was to his brother was too much to bear. This strikes me very much- that the feeling of “my parents don’t like me” can be so deeply damaging to a child and carry through into every aspect of life. This will make me hug my children more, encourage them in their interests and talents, and love (and like) them for the people they are, not the people I think they should be.
As a Person with a Fervent Mind
I experience what I call “fervent mind”- in which the creative ideas and passions are coming easily and quickly, and i’m very driven to be in my studio creating. During these times, regular life is a bit difficult to keep up with, but i’m lucky enough to be able to go back and forth between my responsibilities and my artwork without becoming incapacitated. I can only imagine what it is like to have your fervent mind running at all times- and you can see in the film what difficulty VVG had making connections with people and having relationships. It’s a reminder to me to take care of myself and my mind, and to seek help through counseling or more when the cracks in my mind become chasms that I can’t cross on my own. I wonder what he would have been able to accomplish had he been able to receive modern treatment for depression or bi-polar disorder. Also a reminder that those that deal with mental illness on any level still have plenty to offer our world, and they may be a genius struggling under the weight of their gifts.
I think that’s my complete thoughts, though this film will continue to swirl in my thoughts and in my eyes for a long time to come. My final tip is to watch the film at a time of day when you are wide awake- you won’t want to doze off during this one or you’ll miss details in the conversations and dialog that will leave you confused. Pick a time when you’re free from distraction and have the energy to stay awake and watch!