Vincent's Yellow

a[n] [auto]biography and a love story.


My brain has been a blizzard for a year. The debris is only now just settling down. I need to sleep a lot these days — I suppose to compensate for all the sleeping I didn’t do this summer. I digest my memories. The dream came to its natural end, but I was and still am awake. Vincent lingers like a scent.

It’s been a month since the only Van Gogh painting on public display in all of the continent of Africa (something that has been quite clear to me ever since making my map of the locations of Vincent’s paintings) was stolen.

It was cut out of its frame and I imagine tucked under someone’s coat  – maybe one half of the “italian couple” from whom they claimed to have recovered the painting at the Cario International Airport, and then said they were mistaken – or perhaps it was Carmen Sandiego in her red coat (oh, I always wanted to grow up to be exactly like her)!

Thanks to

Amazingly, this is the second time this very painting was stolen from this museum, which brought to light how lax the Cairo security has been in its museums for some time. The people in charge in Cairo said they would amend such problems as only 7 of 43 security cameras actually functioned.

I smiled when reading all this, and decided to wait a month before I moved the sticker or wrote anything. I smiled because this is so Van Gogh. Needless to say, the 296 colored spot that marks this painting will have to be moved from Cairo and placed under “Whereabouts Unknown”.  The last time the painting was stolen, it took ten years to recover. Any bets for this time? Ah, we’ll see. At least it’s one of his lesser paintings.

Would you steal a Van Gogh painting?

As long as I knew I wouldn’t be caught, I totally would! I wouldn’t keep it forever, but… even just one year with one of Vincent’s paintings in my home would be an experience I would never, ever forget. And I think the world could wait a year.

In the meantime, I wanted to bring your attention to some of the more innovative Van Gogh developments I’ve encountered.

I’ve had at least three different people forward me this link to tilt-perspective interpretations of Vincent’s paintings. Here’s an example:

Thanks to

So immersive! Click on the link above to see more, they are pretty awesome.

And also, look at this incredibly creative and thoughtful animated video showing time passing in Vincent’s Bedroom — using bits and pieces from his other paintings (Starry Night in the window, a self-portrait in the mirror).

Lastly, the Vincent necklace I’ve been wearing for nearly two years has broken three times in one month. I have to get a new chain now. At first, all this made me feel a bit uneasy. Am I holding onto something that needs to be let go? Am I forcing something? Does Vincent want to get away?

The reality is that this is at least partly due to my wearing one necklace non-stop for over a year, but (and I only figured this out just now) also because it’s time for renewal. We are moving now from play to book. Time to get a new chain.

Oh, and did I mention the painting clips inside got water damaged mysteriously during the run of the show?

I don’t know when it happened. But it makes them look old. I like that.

Mon, September 27 2010 » Personal, Popular Culture, Research

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