St. Gauguin: Trouble in Paradise

"Self-Portrait with Portrait of Van Gogh," Paul Gauguin, 1888.

      Seeing the art world as a family is a handy tool, for it is like the philosophical idea that things in a category have a family resemblance rather than embody an archetype or, perish the thought, a Platonic form. On the other hand, if you are not Protestant, or Jewish or Muslim, you also have The Holy Family and the various saints to think about. When did the art world stop being a family or a religion? When it became a strictly financial machine. Andy Warhol deemed his … [Read more...]


John Perreault as Van Gogh in Les Levine's Analyse Lovers, The Story of Vincent, 1990. Still from video.

  A new biography, Van Gogh: The Life, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, suggests Vincent did not commit suicide, but was shot by a perky local of 16 named René Secrétan, who was wearing a cowboy costume. The bullet's trajectory showed the shot could not have been self-inflicted and had to have been fired from afar. But if this is true, why did Vincent protect his assassin? The bully had been tormenting him for months by putting salt in his coffee and setting up fake … [Read more...]