When Van Gogh puts thriller in art...

129 years after his death, does Van Gogh need so much investigation and shelling around his work and his life to be a ‘star’ of our imagination?

This is Vincent’s year. 129 years after his clandestine death, Van Gogh shines. Posthumously. The word is ugly. But don’t we have the risk of letting, under the academic and media tribute, the viewer’s solitary genius ignored by his contemporaries? Vincent Van Gogh (1853- 1890) was banned from his lifetime. Here he is, cherished for the strength he has managed to eradicate from his battered life. From his magical-astral painting of which - tramp of his art - he never got the least penny while alive, the mundillo of fashion-culture today makes its caviar. And that’s good because we can see Van Gogh. But this burial under the praises, is it not too overflowing? Because 2019 is also the year of the «Van Gogh files». Here are four of them.

He used to paint in the dark
Yes and no. Like Monet suffering from cataracts, Van Gogh was short-sighed in his own way. Recognizing the colors from their material, their smell, he invented a meaningful ‘paint-architec-turing’. Not a painting in Braille language. But flumbings and approximations. Like a wrestle between granite and softness, powder and grit. With a master beam solidity. One thing: Van Gogh’s V. In shipbuilding, a vee is the cradle before being the matrix of tracing the lines of a wooden boat, pegged, robust, polished, smoothed, streamlined, created on land to be given to the sea. On the light. That was Van Gogh’s wind. Day and night

The lost yellow of van gogh
Van Gogh lived in the red. He was broke. Penniless, without ten cents to make a franc, gleaning a worthless place on the corner of a tablecloth pub, Vincent ran over all the devils of painting by the tail, getting his supplies - thanks to the subsidies of his brother - at color merchants, both understanding and creditors. Consequence: purchases of materials and randoms items at times. The yellow displaying its lunar suns and its sunflowers is now in agony. It decomposes/fades. At the risk of disappearing, blackened, as if sunk into dust. His work, only photography will save him for the day after tomorrow of forgetfulness. Blame it on aggregates of poor chemical quality of the day before yesterday which no doubt condemned it. But also to a manipulation of the artist, highlighted by the most eminent chemists collaborating in the programs of the synchrotron of Grenoble, the very best research on chemical compounds internationally renowned. Their diagnosis under ultraviolet rays? A highlight in the chrome yellow used by Vincent of ‘reductions’ of material, responsible for the alteration and the inevitable darkening of the yellow pigment. Two paintings have revealed the extent of this erasure: Berges de la Seine (1887) and Vue d’Arles avec iris (1888). According to several studies, «the sun rays penetrate the paint and alter the color of its pigments between one and three micrometers». The reason: Vincent’s choice to mix white paint with his yellow to make it brighter. Also, in order to have more: he used to dilute it.

The Dr. Gachet’s ‘operations’
Is he a forger? A Van Gogh maker? A painting destroyer? Nobody would know anything. The friend, protector and host at Auvers-sur-Oise, has lately been the subject of rumors, after the appearance of ‘studies’ of Vincent. Gachet would have been an accumulator of attempts, the collector of the painter’s perceived failures, the repairer of canvas-covered floats. Aware of the genius he was hosting. A ‘margoulin’. A ‘Thenardier’. Unless ‘the art market’ is frightened by the so-called ‘Van Gogh’s forgotten’, this work accomplished and left without light for more than a century - but surprisingly reappeared - and which would change the genius rating?

Tragic bullet in auvers sur oise
It was in 1890 in room no. 5 of the Ravoux hostel that Van Gogh died on his bed, while returning from the upcountry wounded by bullet. A gun shot. Clumsy game of young teenagers, accident of manipulation, provocation? The weapon, a ‘Le Faucheux’ revolver ‘known as of low power’ underline the experts, was found in a field of Picardie in 1965. The lead of the bullet kept only one color: that of the night. This revolver remains the most famous in the history of contemporary art.Auctioned last year it was sold at the price of 60,000 euros before the sale seems to have been put in parentheses. One more enigma. And a question: does Van Gogh need all these investigations to be a «star» of our imagination?

Amsterdam, Arles, Auvers In the am-stram-gram of its colors

His workshop was a universe without walls. Harnessed wood on his back, or otherwise laid here and there on top of an hostel or in the furrow of a plowing campaign. Made of lights, harpooned with sunburns, asleep in the yellow of the straw of the spring fields coming, or springing from the depths of a night, only known to him. It is choppy, shaggy, dilapidated, this workshop signed Van Gogh. It is, in its music of colors, a brilliantly raucous symphony, a pagan oratorio, a box of virtuoso spells, an am-stram-gram of brushes. Or a crash. Before it last year, in these Parisian staging places (*), the re-creation event was Klimt. Distressing. One could even say totally crazy. But in his plates, his flints of sealant knives and his raw manner animated regarding the material to capture, Vincent quadruples here, in a Paris he knew little, the effect of vertigo. Of diving. Of abandonment to the color of the air, to the stuff of space. How is this done? How does it work? And then, in 2019, how many images scanned, pixilated, etc.? Never mind. Vincent was there. He wanders. Canvases in the wind and paintbrushes dripping force. Breathtaking Run to see him. He died 129 years ago? So what...

Vinci, the other "V." of the year

There is another V. In the tributes-maquis alphabet of the year 2019, after Van Gogh, there is Vinci. Indeed. Léonardo da Vinci. The huge. Everyone knows him. Born in Tuscany (Italy) in 1452, died in 1519 in Amboise (France), four years after the flamboyant  Marignan venture led by the French Kin<g François 1st, ogre of life and sumptuous patron,  who was enamored of the "genius of Leonardo", himself shaken in his art by the "appearances to embellish even more" by a cherub of painting and fresco: a young man rich in knowledge and looks, Raphael.  So here he is, Leonardo. We can not count his rebirths since the one - the last of his earthly life - which, in 1516, led him to France, on the back of a mule through the Alps with under his arm, packed in simple leather bags, Mona Lisa, St. John Baptise and St. Anne.  His masterpieces as well as his keyspieces.  The invincible Vinci did that. As well. But will he resist an umpteenth assault of celebrations for the five hundredth anniversary of his death? Doesn't the man of paradises risk at the end of the end to slip towards an undeserved time of purgatory? On the millenium mode: #balance-ta-joconde. By staging & "peoplising" too much the old bearded from Amboise,  do we share, expose or explode him? To remember only a few splinters. Always the same. Stereotyped, labeled, marketed. Stickers. While his painting, his drawings, his sketches are those of vibrating bodies together and of flying or extravagant machines of modernity. The making of his solitary imagination had chosen the universal.

In 2019, and during the next few months, the last roar around his work evokes especially the price and the peregrinations of his "Salvatore Mundi", a Christ raising his right hand with a strange interlacing of fingers of the right hand - evaluated to 475 million dollars, acquired in 2017 by a Russian billionaire, then yielded to a Crown Prince Saudi. And since then invisible. The Louvre Museum (*) requested to borrow this 65 cm by 45 cm painting for the Parisian and planetary exhibition dedicated to "Léo" from October in Paris. In this year 2019, we hope to see the painting known to be the most expensive in the world.  Sic transit Gloria Vinci.

(*) for schedules, tariffs, access and night visits.