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Saturday, April 11th 2009

9:57 AM

More About Hiding In Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight

By artremedy20 http://artremedy20.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/hiding-in-plain-sight/

“In my view, originality and success are strangers to one another; but I also hold that originality, despite appearances, will end by making itself felt, and that easy success is soon forgotten.  People today have heard of Sarah Bernhardt only because there is a theatre named after her: my father thought she acted like a goat.  Who in these days remembers Luc Olivier Merson, a painter who in his time was showered with honours?  One of the reasons for believing in immortality is that Vincent Van Gogh did not sell a single canvas during his lifetime.  Public recognition and the rating of an artist at his true level often takes time.”

Jean Renoir from the book My Life and My Films 1974 (translated by Norman Denny)

This was a good memoir.  I enjoyed reading it.  His father was the painter Pierre Auguste Renoir.

This is an interesting thought.  I’ve often thought that the most interesting, the most vital artists are the one’s that are obscure and hidden.  Finding them (and their work) is like finding treasure.  I’m always searching, always on the hunt.  Sometimes, something great’s right nearby.

Was Sarah Bernhardt truly deserving of Renoir’s disdain?  

Van Gogh really did sell one painting at least.  It was called “The Red Vineyard.”  I can’t remember the story.  Did a woman buy it?  I think so.  He probably sold or traded a few drawings (and maybe some paintings) for food, drink, lodgings and maybe even some money.  Yet only this one sale is verified.

I knew a Detroit painter named Edgar Yaeger.  I’ll write more on him eventually.  He told me stories of a bicycle trip he took around Europe in the 1920’s.  He met people who actually remembered Van Gogh!

They told him things like “Ah that Vincent!  He’d try to give his artwork away but we turned him down.  Now we wish we’d accepted some of it.”

Then there’s the stories of people using Van Gogh’s art for walls on their chicken coops (and the like).  He’s definitely a classic case of a great artist not being understood or appreciate in their lifetime.

Too many of us spend our whole lives working hard and hiding in plain sight.

Edgar Yaeger’s work:

 ”I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work…I want to achieve it through not dying.”   Woody Allen

Another quote from the Renoir book:

“Only when the artist has mastered the elements of his problem can he bring himself into it.”

One Response to “Hiding in Plain Sight”

  1. Rick Lieder Says:

    Van Gogh not selling any paintings while he was alive fits the misunderstood artist stereotype well, and so will be perpetuated.

  2. vanrijngo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    More About Hiding In Plain Sight

    The MFA experts should have called most all Vincent van Gogh works of art myths and lies. They should have destroyed them all,…. before they expose the truths in this MFA world of ours. And now,…. believe it or not, a little over a century later which is not all that long of a period of time,…. the MFA beat goes on! Thank you Sonny & and Cher for that note!

    Now,…. I want you all who happen to be a little interested in what I have to say,… to read over this little bit of wit in this article again, while mostly keeping in mind of most all of it coming straight from these MFA experts mouths of artist’s foundations. You would think when entrusting such expensive things, that these MFA experts could come up with something a little more believable,… say truths in this MFA world of ours. I’d only guess mainly for the ones who want to know the truths, and also,… let’s not forget about their art patrons.

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