A Shot In The Dark

There is a story in today’s Grauniad about young Polish artists being recruited to recreate Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings for a film. Young British artists, apparently, lack the skills for the work because all they are “taught” (if that is the word) at art school is how to make conceptual art. That would certainly explain the unbelievably tiresome twaddle exuded by the Hoxtonwankers.

A professor at the Royal College of Art insists “there are some very fine painters, but the focus is on innovation and finding a new way of painting”. Well, fine, but it might help if students learned some “old” ways of painting first. Minor things like how to hold a brush and how to apply paint to canvas – that would be a start.

But that is by the by, because what really got my attention was the final paragraph of the story, referring to the film.

Loving Vincent will question whether Van Gogh’s death was suicide or murder. [Co-producer] Welchman points to a Frenchman’s “oblique” admission that he shot the artist and that police have never found a weapon.

The inference of that last phrase is surely that the French police are still investigating. If it said “police never found a weapon”, that would consign it firmly to the past. The inclusion of “have” suggests a live, ongoing enquiry. The thought of various gendarmes scrabbling around Auvers-sur-Oise and environs searching desperately for a revolver undiscovered for a century and a quarter is most enticing, and could provide the basis for a police procedural crime thriller, though it might be fairly low on thrills.

2010_08_23 La vie passionnée

Authentic photo of Vincent Van Gogh from the Auvers-sur-Oise Gendarmerie Archives

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