Armchair Travel: Exhibition on Screen
“Vincent van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing” from the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
Perhaps more than any other artist, Vincent van Gogh has long captured the imagination of storytellers. Delving deep into his fascinating and sometimes deeply troubled world comes this award-winning documentary directed by David Bickerstaff. A New Way of Seeing showcases Van Gogh’s iconic works like never before and features exclusive interviews with the curatorial team at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
“Van Gogh didn’t start painting until he was 27, and within 10 years he was dead. This intense Dutchman—failed preacher, failed teacher—has become one of the most popular artists of all time, and one of the most influential. When we heard that the Van Gogh Museum—partly to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh’s death—intended to re-hang their entire collection, David and I flew out to discover more. They offered us complete access to their treasures, and it was an absolute joy.
“I think the key message of the film is to be wary of the myths that have sprung up around Van Gogh. The reality is often 180 degrees from those errant perceptions. Like Mozart, Cézanne, and Michelangelo, Van Gogh had a passion for art that fueled a determination to be the best. No one worked harder learning about those who had gone before and those who were his contemporaries. Intense, yes. Mental issues, yes. Demanding, yes. But there is nothing accidental or genetic about this work. That’s what makes biographical films so interesting. The more we can learn about the artists, the more we can appreciate their art.” —Phil Grabsky, executive producer