David Edelstein in Paris, posted sometime this morning: “It was thrilling to be in the Musee d’Orsay and in the presence of so many Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings I thought I knew well. But I’d never stood close enough to examine their brush strokes. Alas, you can’t get too close. It’s not the guards — they weren’t much in evidence, and many of the paintings had some sort of glass over them so no one seemed worried. I mean all the MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLES WITH THEIR iPHONES AND CAMERAS telling you to move so they could take a photo and move on to the next painting and take a photo.
“I saw few people gazing on paintings unmediated. And how upsetting it was to be looking at Van Gogh’s self-portrait or ‘The Card Players’ or ‘Blue Dancer’ and have to crane my neck to see over the cameras held aloft with images of the paintings on their tiny screens. Lucy decided to photograph people photographing — an interesting project, for sure. But it’s not why we were there. Sometimes I hate people so much.”
“Cheap Date,” posted on 6.6.13: “I’ve been staring at Van Gogh paintings for decades, first at the Jeu de Paume and more recently at the Musee D’Orsay. And each new time I get a little more emotional. Tears almost well up. The guy was so unrespected, so unloved, so unknown, so broke his entire life. Anyway, yesterday I re-experienced the usual-usual in front of ‘Le Nuit Etoile’ (Starry Night). I put my face right up to it and it looked so vivid and shiny and fresh and alive with dozens of little micro-globs or oil paint sticking out a millimeter or two from the canvas, like little micro-sculptures or micro-moldings. It was as if Van Gogh himself was alive in the next room.”