This is a follow up to yesterday’s post about inner storms and inner resources. The immediate subject is Vincent Van Gogh, these days, celebrated as one of the greatest artists of the post impressionist era. My point here is not to challenge whe3ther Van Gogh was a noteworthy artist. It is instead to link what is noteworthy about him to our age.
What is noteworthy? One thing is certainly the way Van Goph was able to capture inner turmoil in visual images. He is the ultimate model for the tortured genius. And in the 20th century, the west has had a deep, deep fetish for geniuses.
Will this fetish persist? It may not. Public understanding of creativity is shifting from an individual to a social process. With this change, we may begin to shift our values as well. think not? Consider that there was a time (in the 18th century) when this work of art, the Appollo Belvedere was considered the greatest sculpture in the world.
Whatever it represents, it is not celebrating inner turmoil.