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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:49

Video transcript

we're looking at a painting in the Fox collection it's a very famous self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh and it's one of the toughest self-portraits I think I've ever seen tough in terms of the color tough in terms of all that Van Gogh was achieving at this moment in the late 1880s this is a painting that feels incredibly modern to me a willingness to take risks that are breathtaking yeah this is a color that no artist ever used before in an entire background painted like that what nerve he had to take such radical steps so my eye immediately goes to the structure of the painting the way in which he's created the architecture of the face his use of line you know I look at the way in which the brushstrokes wrap around and cascade around the eye and down the nose and it's almost like a river of paint as it flows across that face and begins to define it but then it's not just brushwork at all it's the ways in which structure is actually built by color yeah which i think was something that stays on was also thinking about creating volume with color instead of in the usual way with Karis Giro but that the pinks and the purples that are in his temple and the way those modulate over to greens is like nothing I've ever seen so he's treating the structure of his face of his head of a skull very much as if it was a kind of plastic medium she writes about this portrait that he has created eyes almost as if he was Japanese a reference to his love of East Asian painting but this was a painting that was destined as a gift took again as part of an exchange right is the sort of utopian idea of a brotherhood of artists that was so important to him and of course go again also would have been very interested in the East Asian art this way that he's rendered the hair on his head last down and it's a really strong contrast visually the way in which the coat feels heavy and rough and oversized and then there's the very tight quality to skin to this well I was noticing that too and what it was writing me up was a skull the sense of the bones underneath his flesh and almost a kind of memento mori look at the Browns and the Blues rust colors in his jacket and this green sea of acid light that surrounds him use it just an amazing colorist