Van Gogh and Pinterest

I recently went to see the Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Being such a prolific artist, this was only a very small percentage of his work on show, but it was still a very worthwhile experience. Seeing his work up close is such a privilege as shown by the huge queues of people in Melbourne lining up to get in.

The exhibition was structured so that the first art you see is Van Gogh’s personal collection of other artists’ work that inspired him. There was a big quote from Van Gogh in the section that got me thinking about Pinterest.

“In my view prints like these together form a kind of Bible for an artist, in which he reads now and again to get into a mood. It’s good not only to know them but to have them in the studio once and for all, it seems to me.”
— Van Gogh

I think it’s interesting to think of Van Gogh as someone who collected work of other artists and was so open about getting inspiration from them. It got me thinking about Pinterest — the most well known resource for searching for inspirational images and collecting them.

There’s something nice when you think of Van Gogh looking at physical prints of other artists’ work and purchasing them. He would have to be really selective when deciding what he liked and I’m sure those pieces would have more value to him because of that.

“It seems to me that if one owns a print and sees it constantly, one comes to find it even more beautiful.”
— Van Gogh

With Pinterest you can so quickly search and pin things and amass huge collections of things — all for free. There’s no real incentive to be picky and only choose things that you love.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of trying to have a balance of both. I’m going to have another go at Pinterest and will try to understand how best to use it for my needs. I don’t really get why anyone would want to follow me on pinterest, but if you do, here I am.


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