Vincent van Gogh

Posted in #GettyInspired, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

L.A. Band Writes Techno Music Inspired by Van Gogh

rebellion_dancespirit_irises

Van Gogh’s painting inspires a song “Drowning in Irises” by Dance Spirit More»

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Posted in #GettyInspired, Art

Latte Art Inspired by Van Gogh’s “Irises”

Latte art inspired by Vincent van Gogh

Coffee + art + flowers = happiness. More»

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Posted in Art, Paintings

Five Ways of Seeing Van Gogh’s Irises

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3. Alone

With a little luck and an early arrival to the museum, you just might be able to enjoy Irises alone. If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy that makes it one of my favorite ways to see it.

4. Multiple Times

Detail of IrisesDuring my observations I noticed people often came back to see the painting multiple times in one day. I wonder if it’s due to its emotional complexity. One visitor felt the painting is filled with melancholy and sadness, pointing out Van Gogh’s stay in an asylum and the lone, white flower in the midst of the vibrant, purple irises. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another viewer felt the painting is full of joy, pointing out how vibrant the colors were, and how they manage to rise out of the seemingly dry, brown dirt.

5. Internationally

Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour I heard multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. DH0A5398 One of the great things about art is how we all bring our own perspectives to it. How

Many ways to see a Van Gogh. More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Van Gogh’s Irises / Haiku Verses from Readers / An Invitation

The Irises in its gilded frame / Vincent van Gogh
Irises, 1889, Vincent van Gogh. Oil on canvas, 29 1/4 x 37 1/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 90.PA.20

Over 60 haiku in honor of Vincent van Gogh. More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Justice, Vengeance, Crime, Love, and Van Gogh

Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime, Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, about about 1805–06

Which art objects on the Getty Museum’s website are most popular? The answers might surprise you—or perhaps confirm what you’ve always suspected about the Internet.

Over the past year, three objects have vied for the top spot, each for different reasons. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Paintings

Getty Up! Welcome to the Getty’s New Blog

Irises, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

The Iris is a reference to the Getty Museum’s best-known painting: Irises by Vincent van Gogh. That painting is surrounded by knots of visitors most of the time; it’s behind glass because so many people want to reach out and… More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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