Friday, July 10, 2009

Cleaning offices, Art, Madness and the letters of Vincent Van Gogh



While recovering from being hit by a car (for details click here), I worked as an cleaning lady. Basically, I cleaned offices. I set my own hours, often starting 2 am. It would take me four hours to do the work and most of the office people arrived at 6 am. I was about 20 years old. I had a lot of freedom.



I was really nutty back then, being alone was best. Again, I was recovering from a significant brain injury. (details here if you wish). This one time, whilst working late at night, I xeroxed my bare chest on one of the copiers. The paper got didn't come out. I had to pry open various drawers and doors to yank it out. I still have that copy in my personal files. The image is distorted. The paper is wrinkled and smooshed from being caught in the machine.



I would also clean a garage/car fix it shop. They had a pinball machine in the way back. Never played though. It was a huge warehouse type place. Really dusty and semi slick with grease.

That being said, one time, I was almost late for my two am shift. Because of this movie.



It details the last 60 days of Vincent Van Gogh. Now, I am not a huge fan of Vincent. I like him, just not in that way. I enjoy his thick use of paint, the explosions of expression on canvas.

But, it lacks figures or people in his paintings. He was poor man, thus, very little money for a model. He used himself alot. Which leaves the viewer with a rather stern impression of the man.

Beyond that I don't have much to say about his art. Again, art that attracts me the most-- has people in it. Landscapes and such don't really do it for me.



That being said, it was a very good film. I didn't catch the ending though (again, I had to work.) It was one of my first peeks into a life gently pulsing with mental illness.

Mental illness is now my full time job. Obviously, it is of interest to me. Also of interest, autobiographies. Another interest? Art. Which brings me to this book. It has all three.



This book contains Vincent's letters to his brother Theo. Theo was a caring and supportive brother. There was a lot of love between the two. They died six months apart. That says volumes.

Anyway, the letters are long and sometimes rambling. (I know, I know- pot calling kettle black and all). But fascinating all the same. Will do a post on this. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I eventually watched the whole thing with Mr. Hall. Of note during this viewing, a scene between Vincent and the prostitutes. He enjoyed the company of these women. It is gentle, these scenes.

Achingly gentle when I think back. The very memory catches my breath. Vincent was a solitary and isolated man. But he had love to give and wanted to be loved. Even if he payed these women to love them, it was love all the same.



They say when men ring the bell to the brothel, they are really looking for God.


Sounds about right to me.


Have an arty weekend! :)

9 Left a message at the beep:

Holly said...

Do you know...you just gave me a gift today. I like that you simply share random thoughts and notions on your blog. Like snippets of conversation shared with friends. They aren't a story... they don't have a beginning, middle, end. They are just random thoughts that let us know you better. I like it. A lot.

I have a tendency to think everything I post should be tied up in a neat little package...or I don't share it.

I just think I learned something about myself today. Thanks. A lot.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

To be truthful Holly, it's ok to do what ever you want on your blog. It's your blog after all.

But, for this blog, what I write here has some purpose. Sometimes the purpose it to call up details or mini memories. Sometimes I try to make a point and come to a conclusion.

sometimes I xerox the boobies just cause I can :)

Heff said...

Depressed AFTER sex ? NEVER.

BTW - Nice JUGGS on the chick in the red dress.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Huh, really, never a bit meloncholy after? Huh, this will require more investigation then!

and yes, very nice juggs and that dress! my o my!

makes the devil rise :)

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

No copy of the Xeroxed breast? I don't believe you. ;-)

Now I have to find that movie.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Never thought to Xerox my boobies. Hmm, wish I'd done that when I was younger :-)
I saw a Van Gogh exhibit in Los Angeles several years ago. He was an amazing artist.
Have a great weekend!

James said...

Although I am most usually buoyant and jelly-brained after sex, the opposite does happen occasionally. The reasons are usually to do with how the relationship is at that moment not the actual sex.

Van Gogh not drawing people??
Haha Mrs Hall you need to look at his early stuff, the charcoal drawings and the studies for the Potato Eaters. He drew nothing but people in the early days.
I am going to go look at Holly's blog now.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Ole Blue: that copy, like the rest of my life, is packed away right now. It is really unattractive too.
but.
when my life is unpacked . . . .

JJ: Yes, very amazing indeed. You can scan your boobies if you want, this would be the modern day equivelent. Or, got a really good shot of the girls in lingerie.:)

James: Yes, there is correlation between what is happening and the mood. hmmm....will need moreinfo.

um, yeah, i guess i have to clarify that I enjoy people how are not suffering or starving to death in the art.

have fun at the Holly's blog.

:)

Bruce said...

My Hall has that correct. The release of all those little hormones in such a quick and violent way tends to leave the man a bit on the 'depressed' and 'mellow' side of life, at least for a little while. The male orgasm leads to a summit, cresendo and then a steep drop, like a long dive into darkness.

As for Vincent, I visited the Getty Musuem in Los Angeles several times where they have his painting 'Irises' on display. You can stand 5 inches from it and see the brush strokes.....it is powerful stuff......as was the security guard that was standing 4 feet away ready to taze me if I got within 4 inches.

Art is so exicting sometimes.

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