What Van Gogh's Self Portraits Say About Capturing Any Subject, Human Or Beast
Strive To Portray Individuality, Not Genericness Of Species
How is painting the portrait of a person any different from conveying the spirit of an animal? If an artist believes that all creatures are sentient beings, with their physical features serving as merely an outside coating of what resides inside, then the challenges are identical. So believed the late painter Bob Kuhn, who aspired to convey a sense of individuality—call it personality—with all of his North American and African subjects.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), obviously, was not an animal painter, but emanating from his canvases are the spirits of his places and human subjects. Most intriguing is how van Gogh viewed himself
. What can a self portrait say? Here, in this installment of Wildlife Art Journal's art video of the week, enjoy this briskly paced and abbreviated glimpse at the artist's self reflections—he is known to have made at least 30— manifested in paint.
The take-home message: No two animals—human, pet or beast—are the same. They can reveal as much about the artist's soul, as their own life force within.