In The Armchair

Van Gogh

Posted in Armchair Ruminations by Armchair Guy on September 22, 2008


Van Gogh’s paintings Starry Night and Cafe Terrace at Night stir something deep. My interpretation (which van Gogh probably never intended) is that they are a contrast between the warm, familiar fold of civilization and the wild unkown mystery of the celestial sky. In Starry Night, it is as if the monumental forces lying in the hearts of suns and galaxies have descended onto the cozy hamlet of Saint-Rémy, which is getting ready to tuck in for the night, unaware and unconcerned about the fantastic forces at work in deep space.
The same sentiment is stirred by Cafe Terrace at Night: the warmth of familiar surroundings and human company contrasted to the unknowns in the surrounding dark streets, and even more, the unknowns up in the sky. I can’t decide what I want to be: a diner at the cafe or a predator lurking in the dark alleys, looking at the diners and waiting for one of them to leave that safe haven.

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