The only artist I ever remember learning about in school was Van Gogh. I wasn’t too taken aback by his paintings, but I cant shake the feeling, that he only made it to the twenty-first-century because of his infamous mutilation.
I doubt ‘starry night’ would have been seen as much more than just a few swirls and his self portrait, just a face – if he hadn’t cut off his own ear. Van Gogh is proof that even a hundred odd years ago, society was as unforgiving as it is today.
That you can never really make it anywhere if your message is that which is out of the norm, unless you tear yourself apart for the masses and make a spectacle of yourself, your influence remains dormant – because people only ever remember a show.
I mean, he may have lost his ear in an accidental mishap and backed it with a crude story, but that doesn’t take away from how I feel about the way schools teach ten year olds about such issues. Why weren’t we told, that if we ever felt the need to harm ourselves in a similar way, then we should speak to somebody about it. Why wasn’t the scream addressed as a cry for help
Self harm, mental health and perceived ‘insanity’ all link to societal pressure somehow. Maybe schools should work on building a healthy level of understanding of such issues, instead of attempting to amuse kids and simply remembering him as:
The Mad Artist.
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