Hope you all had a nice Christmas, with a lot of food, reading and all the other stuff you do when it’s Christmas. I’ve read and watched A Christmas Carol ;-).
Just around Christmas, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant published an extra special, about the new Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. This museum has been closed for a long time now and it will be open again in April 2013, if everything is according to plan. Anyway, in this special there were stories about the new museum and how it will look like in the Spring of 2013. One thing of the publication really caught my attention, and that was a photo of a new mural from the British artist Richard Wright (London, 1960). He painted more than 46.000 black stars, with just one litre of black paint (you can see a detail of the work in the photo). The ceilings of the rooms next to the Nightwatch of Rembrandt will be covered with stars. Wright usually creates temporary murals, but this one is here to stay. I’m very curious to see it. To give you an idea of how it may look like, I’ll show you a photo of the Stairwell Project, made in 2010 and on show in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.
When I think about stars in art, I immediately think about a great painting of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Starry Night, 1889. Totally different in its atmosphere than the work of Wright, but you can imagine yourself standing in the field looking at the stars, just as you probably can when you’re standing under the ceilings with the stars from Wright.
When you can look at the stars, with no lights around you (which is in the city pretty difficult), you can feel very small, and humble. Maybe that’s why the painting of Wright and the painting of Van Gogh attract me so much, because it gives you a sense of something much bigger, so that you can put all things in perspective. Or maybe that’s just me at the end of the year, thinking about what has been and what yet has to come…