They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder (beer holder?). Same must be said for art. Some people visit art galleries and spend hours in front of a painting or a piece of art, deep in thought, chin in hand. I'm not sure what they're contemplating (did I turn off the iron, do these jeans make my bum look big), I'm not one of those people. I mean, I don't contemplate art, my bum in jeans is another story.
That's not to say I don't like art and I have visited my fair share of galleries around the world. Some because they are famous and I love the building, others are small local galleries and some because you just need to get out rain/sun. I've seen some amazing pieces and I've seen plenty of crap that just makes you say WTF? But someone must like it right, so who am I to judge? Art knowledge, minimal.
The NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) is one of those must sees and over the years we've visited a few times and seen various exhibitions. It's certainly worth a few hours, just looking at the permanent exhibits. Today we went to see Van Gogh (the Dutch pronunciation is ‘fun gokh’ but apparently ‘Vahn Goff’ is okay) and the Seasons. Apt, as Melbourne is known to have four seasons in one day. I can't say I knew too much about the artist other than he was Dutch, painted 'The Starry Night' and yellow sunflowers, cut off his ear and shot himself.
Today was officially the last day, although it has been extended to the end of the week. So it was BUSY. Opened at 8am and although we had pre-purchased our tickets, we had timed entry at 10am. Note to self, go to these sorts of things early on and preferably during the week.
So what did I learn? He wasn't crazy or a poor, starving artist and although he spent sometime in an asylum, he admitted himself. He painted 850 painting and 1200 drawings - not bad for a ten year career. Apparently he cut off his left ear after a confrontation with his flatmate at the time, the artist Paul Gauguin. I can see it now, "fuck Vincent, I've told you a 1000 times don't leave your dirty brushes in the bathroom sink, you lazy SOB". And then it just got out of hand and out came the razor. These artistic types are very temperamental.
A depressed, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver at age 37 and died from his injuries two days later on 29 July 1890.
As for the art, thoroughly enjoyed it - even if it was only a minute or two at each piece. Surprisingly I recognised a fair few. Also surprisingly you could take pictures. Sign of the times when a sign stated that selfie sticks not permitted. Also interesting that many people seemed to just take a photo and keep walking. Art through a mobile phone.
Following our morning of culture, we had a walk along the Art Centre Sunday market and lunch at Emporium. Sat right next to Charlie & Co. Burgers and DID NOT EAT ONE. Even though they are on the list. Was I sick? Nope, had burgers last night (new burger place in Hampton - Top Burger), so thought two in a row might be a bit much. Noodles I had were good, but should have had the burger.
An enjoyable winter Sunday.