A painting captures a single moment in time. Unlike a photograph, we never know if the things in a painting actually existed in that moment. The objects, people, and scenery are all painted over a long time using fuzzy human memory. We are left with an impression of what might have been.
While wandering through art galleries I often wonder what was happening in the scenes. How were the people feeling? What were the sounds in the atmosphere? What was the weather like? Most of all; out of all the moments in an artists life, what made something worth painting?
In Loving Vincent by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman we get a unique perspective and potential answers to some of these questions. The worlds first oil painted animated movie takes us on a journey surrounding the circumstances of Vincent van Gogh’s death. In learning about his tragic death, we get a glimpse into pieces of his life.
Like many artists, Vincent van Gogh was a tortured soul. During his short career as an artist he created hundreds of oil paintings. Although his contemporaries considered him crazy and a failure, he achieved international acclaim after his death and is considered one of the most influential artists of modern times. We see evidence of this today since it is nearly impossible to visit any modern art museum without seeing at least one of his works.
Kobiela and Welchman bring a selection of van Gogh’s most famous works to life. The postmaster, woman at the piano, man in a yellow jacket, the paint seller, and many other famous paintings are transformed from still portraits into full characters with emotions, dreams, goals, and lives of their own.
The film is a work of art in and of itself. Even if you don’t care about fine art, or film, or animation, or the life of van Gogh. It is difficult to watch this film without a sense of appreciation for the six years of work, and hundreds of painters, that it took in order to produce the film. It will be difficult to view his work again without imagining the motion.
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