By John Moore, Columnist
The Vincent van Gogh visual art presentation entitled “The Immersive Experience” which recently took place at Exhibition Park was a breath taking display of electronic artistic images mesmerizing young and old alike. Divided into three sections it is a fantastical celebration and tribute to one of the greatest artists of our times. We are fortunate to have had such a high caliber event taking place in our own back yard.
The artistry was sensational but even more, so the life of van Gogh was a magnificent occurrence beyond comprehension. Here was a man who lived his life in institutions as he had serious mental health issues having cut off his ear at one point and in addition suffered from abject poverty. He was able to somehow overcome these afflictions and create his art whose works comprised of nearly 900 paintings, many of them now priceless in value. One of his most famous works Starry Night is considered one of the most valuable paintings ever. That is amazing given that particular work of art was drawn from a scene which he viewed outside his asylum room window a place he occupied towards the end of his life. It is amazing what the human spirit can overcome when the will is there . Van Gogh had no shortage of it.
His letters to his brother and contents thereof were works of art themselves. They displayed great humanity and wisdom. How it all came to be is a miracle and can be considered a gift from God. It proves the human spirit can triumph over anything no matter how difficult the circumstances are. When I look at van Gogh and his life, I find it difficult to complain about any hardships or short comings I may have. Van Gogh not only left us with his wondrous works of art but many valuable quotes as well. Here are but a few of them: “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” “ What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.” “Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures.” We have so many blessings in our community and beyond that it is hard not to appreciate our good fortune. The essence of van Gogh in my opinion is to use our God given talents to the maximum effect possible . If you like to garden for example, make your place a kaleidoscope of colors for all to enjoy. You will be well rewarded for your efforts by the compliments you receive in the here and now.
There is a lesson we can also learn from van Gogh in that he never received the fame and fortune he so much deserved during his lifetime . Again, our talents and efforts may not be appreciated either during our lifetimes, but it does not mean we should not do our best to express whatever talents we have. The inner satisfaction of exercising our talents for others should be all we need to strive for and knowing the potential for making our mark is made possible by trying.