A Van Gogh Comes to Life in Chicago, and Suddenly Starry Nights Abound!
Inevitably, when you buy a new car, the streets suddenly seem to become crowded with the exact same make, model and color of car you just bought. “Seem” is the key word in that last sentence. It’s not as if folks stalked you to the dealer and spread the word to buy blue Honda Civic hatchbacks because apparently they must be in high fashion since you recently purchased one. It’s merely that you, due to your latest purchase, have become exceedingly aware of all of the blue Honda Civic hatchbacks that have always been tooling around the streets of your good city.
I’m not sure what this phenomenon is called, but surely it has a scientific name like Acutely Aware Copycat Syndrome or something similar.
Anyway, I ran across an article a few weeks ago about how Chicago’s Art Institute has recently installed a life-sized model of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting of his bedroom in Arles, France, creatively titled, “The Bedroom.” The original is on the left, of course, in the photo below, and the life-sized model is on the right. It seems that Van Gogh was a tad obsessed with his chamber, having painted three versions of it. One was painted while he was living in his beloved Yellow House, he began another during his stay in an asylum, and a third upon his return home. All three are now on display at the Art Institute.
I found myself fascinated by the concept of sort of walking into a picture and living there, if only for a moment. Apparently, the display will be available through May 10th, so there’s plenty of time to visit. And, if a quick in-and-out viewing of the room at the museum isn’t enough for you, I understand that a second life-sized model has been set up in a Chicago apartment. You can actually rent the space through Airbnb for a mere $10 a night and have a rest there. Don’t blame me, though, if you wake up half-crazed in a paint-stained smock, and your left ear gone AWOL.
Consider yourself warned.
So, what, pray tell, does all of this have to do with a blue Honda Civic hatchback?
Nothing, frankly, other than it seems as if my world has suddenly become overrun with Van Gogh references lately. Particularly those of the “Starry Night” ilk.
You remember Van Gogh’s original Starry Night painting, right? It looks like this.
I present you with the following evidence to show that my life has been overtaken by this mad painter.
First, for Halloween, if you’ll recall, my son, Logan decided to dress up as the bedroom painter himself, Vincent.
At the time, I didn’t think anything much about it other than that it was a clever idea, and that my happy blond-haired boy had become a melancholy, bearded ginger overnight.
Next, while rearranging my office shelves, I ran across a poster that my other son, Spencer, participated in during an Art Parent fundraising session at his elementary school designed to raise money to dig wells in Africa. Each child was asked to replicate a square from Starry Night, which began a piece of a very large mural. The couple pictured in the photo below are Logan’s orthodontist and his wife to whom we paid a small fortune for Logan’s now-straight chicklets. They, in turn, took our money and donated a chunk of it to the Art Parent program so that more wells could be dug, which makes me feel slightly better about the fortune we forfeited.
And then, a food blog I was skimming through was showcasing this Starry Night à la bacon masterpiece.
I mean, who even sat down and said, “I know . . . smoky pork fat! That’s what Van Gogh’s classic is missing. Plus, bacon makes everything better!”
Having seen the sad bacon rendition of this classic, we now know that saying does not even remotely apply to recreated artistic masterpieces. Bacon in no way made it better.
Next, Pinterest suggested I might find the following meme amusing.
Which, frankly, I didn’t.
And then Facebook decided to join in by popping up a random story about this Starry Night-esque bike path.
It was at this point that I decided to go on the offensive and look up other Starry Night references before they, too, could pop up on me when I wasn’t looking.
I found a Starry Night jack-o’-lantern.
Whoever carved this is mighty talented, but I hope they understood at the outset that all of their hard work was doomed to be a moldy mess within about four days. Never trust a jack-o’-lantern. Ever.
Google also offered up these Starry Night arm tattoos that I can’t quite decide if they’re varied views of the same arms, photos of several different guys, or perhaps all from one single man with a surplus of arms. I’m sure one of you kind readers will figure it out and let me know.
And the even more fortunate news is that if this octopus-armed tattoo dude breaks any of his appendages, there seem to be casts at the ready to continue on with the theme.
Hair has been dyed to match this painting, most likely so as not to clash while standing and viewing it. Thank goodness she wasn’t planning on studying a Seurat.
And if you really want to blend in head to toe, just slip on these babies and stand extra still.
Artwork has, in fact, copied this artwork.
And even Grumpy Cat has gotten in on the action, although, true to form, he doesn’t look all too happy about the whole thing.
And finally, if all of that isn’t enough Van Gogh for you, feel free to purchase this semi-realistic replica of the artist in doll form, complete with removable ear.
You can bring it with you in your blue hatchback Honda Civic as you drive to your overnight stay in “The Airbnb Bedroom.”