Art Interview an Interview With Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

My letters to my brother Theo often touch upon this theme."

Q: What was your relationship like in Arles?

Gaugin: "I would say that Vincent definitely needed me more than I needed him. Vincent was always looking for a friend, you know -- a kindred spirit. His brother Theo was sympathetic but separate from him. In me he found someone who shared his passion for art and who understood what he was trying to accomplish. But Vincent was unstable and our relationship was often frustrated by his inability to reconcile himself to the artist's lonely lot. I, certainly, was more comfortable being a loner."

Van Gogh: "My sojourn in Arles in a rented yellow house, which I depicted on canvas in my typically thickly-applied, brightly colored 1888 painting, would end in a kind of portentous delirium. Gauguin's stay and my increasing reliance upon the Frenchman proved a misstep. Gauguin's insufferable pride and my instability and need of friendship and acceptance were dangerous combinations, and I paid a price. Why did I cut off my ear? It had something to do with wanting to cut away that part of myself that kept others from wishing to befriend me. Perhaps it also had something to do with my acquaintance with St. Peter's cutting off the ear of the soldier who had come to arrest Christ. Oftentimes I felt like I was betraying Christ."

Q: Indeed, the incident of the cutting off the ear has become something people often wonder at. Could you tell us your perceptions of this incident?

Gaugin: "As I said back then when I visited him in the hospital: 'His state is worse, he wants to sleep with the patients, chases the nurses, and washes himself in the coal bucket. That is to say, he continues the Biblical mortifications' (Gayford 284). There was no reasoning with Vincent. He knew exactly how things stood for him in relation to God. He was something of an ascetic. He wanted to suffer. He thought there was holiness in suffering. Perhaps he was right. I found holiness in simplicity, in the natives I found in the tropics. Vincent found it by cutting off his ear.

Van Gogh: My madness was of a nature that Plato had divined many centuries back -- and for which he had expressed the following prescription: 'If head and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul' (Kyziridis 43). I wanted to cure my soul, heal myself through suffering, through art. You can see in my 1889 Self-Portrait that here I now see myself clearly, wholly, and directly -- and the portrait that I produced is both cold and warm, negative and positive, troubled and content. The bandage over my ear represents my spiritual defect, while the hat and coat figure as symbols of the protection against the world that my disfigurement has won me.

Works Cited

Gayford, M. The Yellow House. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. Print.

Johnson, Paul. Art: A New History. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2003. Print.

Kyziridis, T. "Notes on the History of Schizophrenia." 2005.…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Gayford, M. The Yellow House. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. Print.

Johnson, Paul. Art: A New History. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2003. Print.

Kyziridis, T. "Notes on the History of Schizophrenia." 2005. Web.

<http://www.gjpsy.uni-goettingen.de/gjp-article-kyziridis.pdf>

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