Thursday, September 17, 2009

Van Gogh's Ear

Van Gogh's ear is an interesting mystery. Why did he cut it off? What was he thinking? What happened to the ear? I was pondering these questions after my Modern Art class yesterday, where in we discussed the aforementioned artist. Today I found myself reading the September 2009 issue of Artnews only to open to an article, "What They See In Van Gogh's Ear." This article did not at all answer the questions I was pondering, but rather resolved the pondering in a different way. What is up with Van Gogh's ear? It appears since he chopped the thing off people around the world have been curious about it. The article talks about how Van Gogh's ear has inspired pop culture, and how more people know him for this incident than his art. Apparently three bands have taken names inspired by the ear, shops and resteraunts have called themselves "Van Gogh's Ear," and merchandise such as fake Van Gogh ears and Van Gogh heads with detachable heads are readily available online. With a love for history and psychology, yes I am interested in the mystery, but I have must agree with the article. Van Gogh gets lost in all of this hipe over his ear and possible mental or emotional disabilities. It makes me wonder what any of us current artists will leave behind. In a hundred years will people talk about our art or spend their time analyzing our possible mental states. I still remember a trip to the Salvidor Dali museum in Florida. The people I was with spent half the trip psycho analyzing his mental state. You have to be a bit odd to be an artist. Van Gogh is no acception, but maybe we can admire his art and forget about that darn ear.

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