These two iconic artists had completely different approaches to life, art, and success. Van Gogh was known in art circles, and was quite prolific, but besides a few trades and a single sale, his mental illness kept him from success. After a fight with Gauguin, he had a psychotic breakdown and severed his ear. He lived most of his life in poverty, and most of his money was spent on art supplies. He spiraled downward, and died at 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Amazing that his most prolific period was the last two years of his life. A decade after his death, his work was in demand, and he was recognized for his color theory and bold style. Born into the upper-middle class, he preferred to paint peasants and nature in the rural countryside.
Warhol, born to working class parents, was enamored with glamorous and beautiful people, and was a master at self-promotion. His earlier work (soup cans, brillo boxes, etc.) were comments on commercialism, and a natural extension of his illustrative work in advertising. He liked that these common products were used by the elite as well as regular people. He quickly became the darling of the '60s Pop Art world, and his Factory was the place to be seen. Celebs mingled with beautiful wanna be's and drag queens.
He is best known for his silkscreen portraits of pop culture icons (Marilyn, Elvis, Jackie), which is pretty much the opposite of Van Gogh's peasants and nature paintings. He professed to love the superficial, and declared that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. Like Van Gogh, he was quite prolific, but with a number of assistants to help produce his work, this was controversial (no surprise his studio was called the Factory). He found success early, and his legacy to the art world is a mirror to our culture.
I painted both of these small portraits in a loose style. I updated Van Gogh's look as a gentle parody. Both of these have sold, and are no longer available.
Rhea Groepper Pettit
New works, new ideas.