The journey to the sun
200x100 cm / 78.74x39.37 inches
Waterjet cutted brass, orange organic fluorine spray-painted on the back
The work is an abstraction of the route that Vincent van Gogh has traveled in his life. The journey starts in Zundert and ends in Auvers-sur-Oise. 'The journey to the sun' is part of the publication 'The journey of Vincent van Gogh - In the footsteps of Vincent - The journey to the sun by Petra Hart' which contains parts of his letters that he wrote to Theo (and friends and family) about his journey (his career as a painter, writer, scholar and lover of art and literature), what he saw and what he thought of during his walks. Vincent spent his life painting / catching the light. The choice of material and color of the work symbolize this search.
The artwork is inspired by one of his most important texts, beautifully poetically described, his philosophy about death. In my opinion the moment when he started thinking about suicide. He was just 4,5 month in Arles. He wrote this text in a letter on 9 or 10 july in 1888 to his brother Theo:
'But the sight of the stars always makes me dream in as simple a way as the black spots on the map, representing towns and villages, make me dream. Why, I say to myself, should the spots of light in the firmament be less accessible to us than the black spots on the map of France. Just as we take the train to go to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to go to a star. What’s certainly true in this argument is that while alive, we cannot go to a star, any more than once dead we’d be able to take the train. So it seems to me not impossible that cholera, the stone, consumption, cancer are celestial means of locomotion, just as steamboats, omnibuses and the railway are terrestrial ones. To die peacefully of old age would be to go there on foot'.
'The journey to the sun' is a precursor to the 'Vincent van Gogh interpretation by artist Petra Hart' where I show how Vincent worked towards his death. I use his written letters and the corresponding paintings. Vincent did commit suicide.
'The journey to the sun' courtesy Museum Van GoghHuis Zundert has been exhibited at BIG ART 2018 curated by Anne van der Zwaag.