Just a Thought

His friend, ex-accountant turned Tahitian layabout artist Paul Gauguin, suggested something radical. Why not paint something … from memory? Just once, instead of painting what you’re actually looking at, render an artwork through the prism of recollection. What newer, emotional details might surface through the rigid, unyielding mesh of religion and shame that you’ve used to bind that throbbing, genius brain of yours? Vincent, give it a try.

And he did. The Night Cafe, painted in September of 1888. While George Eastman made it possible to forever trap reality on paper, while Jack the Ripper carved, in flesh wounds, a ragged peephole into the twentieth century, Van Gogh painted from memory. And it destroyed him.

—Patton Oswalt/Silver Screen Fiend
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