Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don McLean: "Vincent" ("Starry, Starry Night")

This is a well-made video featuring a montage of Van Gogh's most famous paintings. The song "Vincent," written by Don McLean in tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, has always moved me for two reasons. The first is personal: my father once told me this song reminded him of my mother, whom I've blogged about here. The beautiful thing about this song, for me, is the part that goes: "But I could've told you, Vincent, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you." My mother was strikingly gorgeous (of course I look just like my Dad!) but suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, taking her own life, so I can totally see why this song would have reminded Dad of her.

The other reason is that I've always loved Van Gogh's paintings. I think, really, he might be my favorite artist. In fact, "Starry Night" has been my wallpaper on this laptop for a little over a week now, in anticipation of the Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, and Beyond, exhibition going on at the deYoung right now. I'm trying to arrange seeing that with Chelle's mom on the 30th of this month, or maybe the day after Thanksgiving (or as Pat quipped, "why not both?!") I sometimes catch myself staring at the photograph of that painting; it's very easy to get lost in the brush strokes and the reflections of light. For an enchanted moment, you think you're seeing the world through Van Gogh's eyes. This particular painting, on loan from the Musee D'Orsay, is in this exhibition and I'm anxious to see it. I know it will be special.


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