This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big,” wrote Vincent van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo, alluding to the inspiration behind one of his most well known works, The Starry Night (1889). The Dutch artist was in awe with the cosmic grandeur of the night sky, and sought to capture the beauty of the nocturnal landscape in melody with the complexities of his psyche. Though the artist suffered greatly with mental illness and experienced dire poverty, and had not achieved fame until after his death, Van Gogh channeled his misfortunes into moments of sheer gratitude for life’s resounding beauty. His painting’s allure is derived from a quiet dream, illuminated by starlight.

In celebration of Van Gogh’s 165th birthday (born March 30, 1853), we are releasing limited edition, hand painted jewelry by artist Davide Bricchi depicting Van Gogh’s cosmic scene. Additionally, works of jewellry embellished with art by Pablo Picasso and Frida Kahlo are for sale. What better way of expressing your love for Van Gogh and other artists than by being able to wear their masterpieces?

 

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To commemorate the life of Van Gogh, we present five contemporary artists who were inspired by the Dutch painter’s creation. Through their own unique techniques, these artists reinterpret The Starry Night, exalting the glory of the stars.

1. Alex Ruiz - Starry Night

Alex Ruiz - Starry Night
Alex Ruiz - Starry Night

Ruiz is digital conceptual painter based in Los Angeles with an interest in environments and character design, and depicted the hypothetical night that Van Gogh painted his work. Ruiz’ piece embodies magical realism, blending a hyper-realistic landscape with mystical swirling clouds illuminated by the celestial body. The viewer is instantly teleported to the moment of Van Gogh’s inspiration.

2. Jane Perkins - Starry Night, After Van Gogh

Jane Perkins - Starry Night, after Van Gogh
Jane Perkins - Starry Night, after Van Gogh

A familiar face from the United Kingdom, Perkins hand selects discarded plastics including pens, buttons, keys, and beads, and installs them into recycled mosaics. Perkins does not alter the natural state of the found object, but rather keeps them true-to-form when replicating famous pieces of art. She is known for recreating works by old masters and for constructing famous portraits using this technique.

3. David Goldberg - Starry Night

David Goldberg - Starry Night
David Goldberg - Starry Night

From decades of business as the owner of a Maryland hardware store, Goldberg had amassed over 1,250 discontinued door knobs, plates, and levers made of brass and crystal. Rather than waste these materials, he created an installation replicating Van Gogh’s piece that utilized the materials’ smooth textures and opulent appearance to mimic clusters of stars and a luminous moon. The local community has enjoyed Goldberg’s work so much, that a bench has been installed outside the store for visitors to reflect on his creation.

4. Alma Thomas - Starry Night and the Astronauts

Alma Thomas - Starry Night
Alma Thomas - Starry Night

Now deceased, Thomas was a prominent African-American contemporary expressionist who imbued rhythm into art through her use of color and pattern. She approached Van Gogh’s piece through altering its composition to a vertical axis and by minimizing the landscape into patterned brushwork similar to the Dutch artist’s style. Because Thomas excluded the landscape and town of the original painting, the viewer is solely confronted with cosmic infinity.

5. Alex Harrison Parker - Hubble Space Telescope / Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” Mosaic

Alex Harrison Parker - Starry Night
Alex Harrison Parker - Starry Night

Doctor Alex Harrison Parker is the senior research scientist in planetary astronomy at the Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio, Texas, and has worked intensively on various NASA projects, most notably directing Project ESPRESSO. Parker’s cosmic concerns exist beyond his scientific background, as he also produces art and photography depicting the complexities of the cosmos. In his recreation of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Parker comprised photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of celestial phenomena to create a captivating mosaic that evokes the enormity of the universe.

Article by Cheyenne Cunning

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