Texture in Art

Before I traveled to Europe in 2001, I didn’t appreciate art.

At all.


I had more important things to think about (or so I thought.)

But to be honest, I think my problem was that I hadn’t really experienced art. Sure, I lived in Chicagoland and secretly claimed Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Wood’s American Gothic and Monet’s Haystacks series as my own, but I didn’t get it. And to be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what I do and do not get.

If you haven’t seen the aforementioned masterpieces, visit The Art Institute of Chicago right now.

(If you visit after reading this post, I’d love for you to write a museum minute about your experience. Email me!)

Before my 2001 Europe trip, I didn’t know that I liked Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (in the National Gallery, London.)  In fact, I thought that I definitely did not like it. But upon seeing it, I fell in luv. (Yes, luv.) There was something about the texture of the piece that really surprised–and attracted–me.

I had the same experience during our recent visit to MOMA. As it turns out, Van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night is there!

And, wouldn’t you know it, our camera decided to die right as I was trying to take a photo. The above is an action shot, seconds before my camera said, “no way!” (Another con to being stranded in NYC – no camera battery charger.)

Nevertheless, I fell in love with Starry, Starry Night not because of the subject matter or the colors (although they were a lot more vibrant than I thought) but because of the texture. What a gorgeous moon! I never would have expected to react to the painting as I did.

Here’s a photo my husband took with his phone–it’s not the best photo quality and yeah, I’ve polaroid-ed it like all of the others, but believe me, it’s an amazing (and fun!) painting in person. I actually find it quite playful.

And now, when I see photos of the painting, I don’t see the flat, reproduced image–I see the original.

Fabulous stuff.

3 thoughts on “Texture in Art

  1. Once again, we prove that going to see the REAL thing is better than just looking at it on-line or in a book. Ahem, and full disclosure, I’m a living history museum professional, so I like to deal in the “real” all the time. What better way to learn about a cream separator than to actually use it?

  2. Oh, and I forgot to mention my Musee d’Orsay experience where Renoir’s Dance at Bougival and Dance in the City are hanging side by side, much larger than I expected, both pieces struck me as amazing and appropriately paired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s