Artist: Stephen Hansen
Title: Sunflowers, Third Version (Van Gogh)
Medium: Acrylic/Paper Mache'
Dimensions: 25"h x 20"w
When Van Gogh moved to Arles in 1888, he entered into a prolific period in which he infused his works with yellow hues. The paintings were considered innovative, partly because newly invented pigments made new colors possible. Art critics marvel at the detail and depth van Gogh drew out of layering shades of yellow. The vibrancy of the new colors, such as chrome yellow, helped van Gogh achieve the intensity of Sunflowers.
Though he battled with mental illness and self-doubt, the painter found joy in creating the Arles Sunflowers. Van Gogh wrote in a letter to his brother Theo, “If I carry out this idea there will be a dozen panels. So the whole thing will be a symphony in blue and yellow. I am working at it every morning from sunrise on, for the flowers fade so quickly…..“the sunflower is mine.”
Stephen noted, “Van Gogh didn’t have a cat.”
Stephen’s statement on the Great Moments series: “The appeal of this series for me is standing before the easel and painting the painting. It is like putting on a costume and being someone else for a time. The paper mache painters simply represent my thoughts while doing the painting. And, this seemed like a good way to learn to paint. The project started with a Rothko, and the notion that one’s life work might have been accomplished one brilliant weekend with a roller. What if artwork really was, well….work, and paintings were done by painters? It had never occurred to me, until I became involved in this project, to pretend to be someone else for a few days. It is a bit like a holiday, though I would recommend Gauguin over van Gogh.”