Watch Husbands!!!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

As I’m sure you’re aware it’s award show season once again.  It’s finally blossomed into that wonderful time of year when we get to watch celebrities get all dressed up in the latest designers and take home tiny little gold statues while we sit at home in our pajamas wishing it was us giving that acceptance speech.  I’m sure that everyone with even the slightest case of celebrity envy is talking about the 85th annual Oscars, and that length of time is nothing to sneeze at.

husbands-promo1I’m actually going to talk about a show that was featured on a newer award show.  At the third annual Streamy Awards a favorite web series of mine, Husbands, got some attention.  A total of six nominations this year but unfortunately they didn’t win.  Not that the show hasn’t taken home any awards at all; Husbands actually won two Indie Soap Awards which is great.  Still, my only conclusion for the disappointment I felt at the lack of victory at this year’s Streamy Awards is that we, the fans of Husbands, need to spread the love further.

Which is exactly what I’m trying to do with you Beautiful Thinkers: share a witty-comedy that will capture your heart.  The story line is set just after a federal amendment for marriage equality has been passed. (Let’s hope this isn’t in the too distant future.) In the joys of celebration, Cheeks and Brady, our main characters, have a little too much to drink and get married.  I don’t want to tell you any further plot points because you really should watch it and enjoy it all for yourselves.

Now if you think you don’t have time for another new series in your life think again because each episode of Husbands is short and sweet.  The full first and second seasons can be watched on YouTube in the amount of time it would take to watch one episode of Once Upon A Time.  The first season totals in at just under twenty-five minutes and is split into eleven episodes.  So if you really only have five minutes to spare each day you can still make it through one or two episodes a day.  The second season is slightly longer coming to a little over twenty-seven minutes, but it only has three episodes.  Even if you only have ten minutes a day to spare you can finish the season in three days.

espensonbell-660x438Don’t judge it based on the brevity of the episodes Beautiful Thinkers.  Writers Jane Espenson and Brad Bell know how to take advantage of every second.  Brad Bell, Sean Hemeon, and Alessandra Torresani make the perfect cast for this series playing the roles of Cheeks, an actor known for his tabloid worthy stunts, Brady, a recently out of the closet pro baseball player, and Haley, an actress and Cheek’s bff.

If you’re a Joss Whedon fan (known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and most recently The Avengers), then you’re in for a treat when you watch this series.  You’ll find that stars from many of Joss’s past projects make frequent guest appearances on this series.  Joss himself even has a role, the longest he’s ever acted before.  He worked with Espenson on Buffy and is a huge fan of this series.  If you end up enjoying it as much as I did and want more there’s also a good amount of behind-the-scenes video posted along side the show as well as a six-part digital exclusive comic available. I hope you find Husbands as charming as I do.

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Fashism the Instagram of Fashion!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Scenario time Beautiful Thinkers: you’re getting ready for an important job interview (or maybe it’s a hot date) and you want a second opinion on your outfit.  You don’t want to ask your friends because they always tell you that you look good and while you’re confident that you’re gorgeous just by being you, you need to be better than good.  You need to be perfect.  Who do you ask?  The makers of the iPhone app Fashism have come up with your answer.  This app is like what you’d get if you took Instagram, dedicated all the pictures to clothing and accessories, and then told the users to judge each other.

photo-2Finally you can count on someone to tell you that shirt just isn’t your color or those pants cut you in a funny way when you go shopping alone.  After all it’s not like the store sales person is going to tell you that you shouldn’t buy their product.  Looking at the app layout you can definitely see why I made the Instagram comparison.  I mean come on, five boxes at the bottom of the screen with the center one as a camera.  Sounding familiar?  There’re still just enough differences in the app’s function to justify it as its own entity and not simply a knock-off app.  Here’s a better understanding of how it all works:

photoThe “Looks” Tap is wear you can go to give your opinion on other people’s looks. This seems like a pretty good way to waste an hour or two and besides, you’ve got to give a little to get a little right?  Next up the “Nearby” Tab shows you a list or map of stores in your area.  Maybe it’s just my location, or they haven’t had time to get this part completely up to date, but mine only lists four stores.  With the “Post” tag in the center you can take pictures but you can also send out pictures that already exist on your phone.  That was you can get opinions on that iffy coat you wore last week and whether you should ever put it on again.  Your “News” Tab you see the new looks of people you’re following.

In your “Profile Tab” you can review the looks you’ve posted in the past, and comments you’ve made on others’ outfits.  Plus you can view a list of who you’re following and who is follow.  Whether you’re a hardcore fashionista looking to make some sparks with your next look, or you’re just a narcissist that can’t get enough of hearing how good you look, this app is worth killing some time over.

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Living Legend Annie Leibovitz!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Today I learned about a living legend.  Literally, this photographer was designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.  I’m talking about none other than American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz.  While she originally went to the San Francisco Art Institute to study painting, she ended up taking night classes for photography and in the process found her life-long career.

Annie LeibovitzIn 1970 she began working as a staff photographer for the magazine Rolling Stone, just after its launch.  Within three years Rolling Stone’s publisher, Jann Wenner, promoted Leibovitz to chief photographer of the magazine while she was still in her early twenties.  She held that position for ten years and also had the opportunity to work as the concert/tour photographer for the Rolling Stones band during their Rolling Stones Tour of the Americas ’75.  Pretty awesome, right?  Photographing the Rolling Stones for Rolling Stone.

During her time with Rolling Stone (the magazine not the band) she took the famous picture of a naked John Lennon curled up next to fully clothed Yoko Ono.  This photo was the last time Lennon was ever professionally photographed; only hours later he was shot and killed by a crazed fan outside his home.  The picture was used as the cover of the Lennon commemorative issue and in 2005 was named “best magazine cover of the past 40 years” by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

After her time at Rolling Stone, Leibovitz began working for Vanity Fair in 1983, and in 1998 she started a position with Vogue.  Outside of her work with magazines she is known for creating ads for American Express, Gap, and the Got Milk? Campaign.  She also has seven books of her photos including: Photographs (1983), Photographs: Annie Leibovitz 1970–1990 (1991), Olympic Portraits (1996), Women (1999), American Music (2003), A Photographer’s Life: 1990–2005 (2006), and Annie Leibovitz at Work (2008).

She wrote in the introduction of A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005 that “I don’t have two lives. This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.”  This quote seems to hold true as she let her lover Susan Sontag influence her work from the time they met in 1989 till Sontag’s death in 2004.  In 1993 Leibovitz traveled to Sarajevo during the war in the Balkans, where she took the photo “Sarajevo, Fallen Bicycle of Teenage Boy Just Killed by a Sniper.”  She openly states that she wouldn’t have considered the trip without input from Sontag, who wrote an essay that accompanied the previously mentioned photo.  Sontag is also credited with first conceiving Leibovitz’s 1999 book Women.

Although the two never lived together they each had an apartment within view of the other’s.  In Sontag’s lifetime they never disclosed the specifics of their relationship, but during an interview about her book A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005 she admitted that they shared a romantic relationship.  When later questioned why she referred to Sontag as her “companion” instead of partner or lover she was quoted saying that using lover was fine.  She said in another interview, “Call us lovers.  I like lovers.  You know, lovers sounds romantic.  I mean, I want to be perfectly clear.  I love Susan.”  This is certainly evident in the naming of her twin daughters: one Susan, for Sontag, and the other Samuelle, for her father.

Here are ten of Annie Leibovitz’s most iconic celebrity photos:

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Yoko Ono & John Lennon (1980)

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Demi Moore (1991)

Queen-Elizabeth-II-by-Annie-Leibovitz

Queen Elizabeth (2007)

Fashion Vogue Cover

Gisele Bundchen & LeBron James (2008)

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Bruce Springsteen (1984)

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Leonardo DiCaprio & Knut the polar bear (2007)

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Whoopi Goldberg (1984)

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Tom Ford, Scarlett Johansson & Keira Knightley (2006)

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Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes & daughter Suri (2006)

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Sting (1985)

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Check Out Mark Russell!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Last week I went to a show at The Abbey in downtown Orlando.  It’s a pretty nice space and if you’ve never been it is definitely worth checking out.  With an elevated stage, full service bar, and modern décor, it functions as a nightly live entertainment venue. Featuring concerts, comedians, cabaret acts, and community theater, this is a great place to look into if you want a variety of options to fill your weekly night life or if you’re looking to host an extravagant event of your own. My visit was for a concert; a friend of mine got me the opportunity to interview Mark Russell, one of the performers from the evening.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at first.  You know how it goes with local shows, sometimes you get stuck listening to half ass covers and mediocre original songs. But this guy is the real deal Beautiful Thinkers.  Two albums and a single available on iTunes, a music video series being campaigned on mtv.com, and both piano and guitar skills, I’d be willing to bet on him to make it big.  I bought all his songs as soon as I got home.  His single Dance has already reached 43 plays on my iTunes play counter.

I didn’t get a chance to listen too much from Russell’s opener, Malaya, but I liked their energy and would consider giving them a chance.  Russell and his band wasted no time getting set up and starting their set. (Nothing worse than waiting too long for the next band to come on in my opinion.)

Mark Russell took the stage with four others, using drums, guitar, bass, synthesizer, and piano to round out the band’s sound.  My favorite song off his album Take Two is September, which I recoded on my iPhone during the show. Check it out: (The vocals aren’t as good as they were in person, my iPhone apologizes.)

Interview with Mark Russell and Band:

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Mark Russell: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano

Glen Samuels: Synth, Piano, Background Vocals

Doug Echeart: Drums

Jordan Major: Bass Guitar

Joseph Donfraid: Electric Guitar

TBITHS: How did you form the band?

Mark: It’s weird because it’s been a long time, there’s been a band for probably four or five years.  As for the members right now I think it’s been Glen and I the longest.  Then Jordan, our bass player, was picked up.  Then we added Joseph to the list about a year and a half ago.  And our newest is our drummer Doug who’s practiced with us once and played three shows.

TBITHS: Glen told me that you play Pop/Rock. Who would you say are your influences for that genre?

Joseph: There’s a guitar player named John Bloom that used to be in a band called Yesterdays Rising, he’s a pretty big influence for me.

Mark: I kinda like a little bit of everybody.  There’s some hip hop stuff, even like OneRepublic, Ryan Cabrera, I guess more on the pop side, Maroon 5.  But I think what makes us so good is that everybody in the band likes different styles of music.

Glen: Well I know that Jordan and I are really into Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Gibbard, anything he does we’re all over.  I think we bring an indie kind of sound to the group.

Doug: Yeah I like Indie, Classic Rock, I’ll listen to top 40 too. But I grew up playing a lot of Church music.

Mark: I want to say that actually everybody in the band has at one point done some church music.  I know for me in college I was leading worship for a while.

Glen: I was pianist for the church I grew up with for about ten years.

TBITHS: What would be some places and other bands that you’d like to play with if you got to pick?

Mark: I played House of Blues Chicago a long time ago and that was like the sickest House of Blues I’ve ever been to.  I’d like to play there with the full band. Pretty much any arena would be cool.

Jordan: Yeah any arena, like a place where you can just hit your bass, and feel the whole room shake with you.

Mark: As far as people I don’t know I can think of a lot of cool performers.  Getting out there with Justin Timberlake or Maroon 5 would be cool.

Joseph: Anybody that brings a big crowd, man there’s money there.

Doug: I think Regina Spektor or Ingrid Michaelson, like one of those cool female vocalists that just everything they write is awesome.

Mark: Hopefully someone that’s cool to hang out with.  We’ve played with a couple big people but you hang with them back stage and it’s just not as fun as some of the smaller but still successful groups that you play with that are really cool and down to earth.

TBITHS: How can people get your music besides coming to shows?

Mark: As far as CDs you can get a physical copy off our site or iTunes and I think Amazon.  You can hear us on Pandora and Spotify.  Hopefully you guys buy a CD, take it out, put your windows down, and blast it. (You can find a full list of sites to hear them on the about page on Mark Russell’s Facebook.)

TBITHS: Anything else you’d like to say to everybody that reads this?

Mark: Come to a show soon, it’s a lot of fun.

TBITHS: And people can check out your website to find out when and where you’re playing, right?

Mark: Yeah, as far as the web goes there’s OfficialMarkRussell.com, that’s kind of like a central hub it can send you to Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Myspace, pretty much everywhere that we’ll update when we’re having another show.

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Now on Instagram!!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

6a010535893544970c017d3ef41caa970c-800wiI’m working on expanding my knowledge of social networking and all the different websites and apps that go with that. Today I learned about Instagram.  I know what you’re thinking Beautiful Thinkers and yes, if I don’t start learning that kind of stuff faster I’ll be a dinosaur in no time.  The first thing I found out is that you can’t create an Instagram profile on their website.  You have to download the app from the App Store for any iOS device (iPhone, iPod, iPad) or in Google Play for an Android Device.  After you’ve downloaded the app, you can sign up for an account.  Once you have an account you have the option of signing in from the website as well.
photo-1For any of you, who like me, haven’t used Instagram before today there are five little boxes at the bottom of your screen once you’re logged in.  The furthest to the left is your “Home Tab” where you can see a feed of posts made by you and your friends.  You can like and comment on the photos here.  Moving to the right, next is the “Explore Tag” which seems pretty self-explanatory: use it to explore Instagram for things or people that interest you.  In the center you’ll find the “Camera Tab,” again the name explains it, there are a lot of fun settings to fiddle with so have at it and take some cool pics.  Second from the right is the “News Feed Tab” where you get all the love and admiration from your friends and followers.  You’ll also see the other photos your friends like and comment on here.  Last is your “Profile Tab” and you know how these work, it’s all about you.

Once you’ve gotten a handle on all of that you can start following others.  If you loaded your Facebook friends and contacts, the Explore Tab is great for finding new people.  Another thing to think about before you become an Instagram fiend is your photo save settings.  If you don’t want your phone’s camera roll to fill up with photos from Instagram, go to your profile gear button and switch the “Save to Library” feature to off.

photo-2While you’re playing around in the options area you can set the app up to be linked to your other social networks.  The “Share Settings” tab will allow you to link to Facebook, Twitter, your email, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare.  So if you already have any of these social networks you can easily update everything at one time.

Despite having only launched two years ago, it seems that the app is already being put to use for business purposes.  Companies like ABC World News and Threadless are using it as a creative and free way to market their businesses.  It seems like they’ve got a little bit of everything from nonprofits to fashion brands finding ways to take advantage of this social media tool.  So there you have it Beautiful Thinkers: Instagram isn’t just for killng time.  You can also follow me on there by searching TBITHS.

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Boston Incorporated as a City Today and Other History!!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

data=Ay5GWBeob_WIPLDYoIWcfVXxvZu9XwJ55OX7Ag,61TYTr85MkkDcCA6u_gKvQBa4V5V5_tFc0g2el6DwUWA3F79k12GLcQhybSuByGa7BZ40ovfF3oyJXbwibB-VhAa1SZcSxNAJDhVZS_mYCpmECOck0kA3-vL8hGUas2IGpL_lCuwdbXOZUh1lXiLPY4v85kB0JTb8fs7I6eCfIxRC0o5-tdxUmN7JVr6lQToday I did some research on Historic events that went down in Boston.  This was partly because I’m planning to travel there in a couple of weeks and partly because according to HistoryOrb.com today was the day that Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822.  Before that point it had only been incorporated in 1630 as a town (not sure what day that was, but I somehow doubt it was today too).  From what I could find in a quick search the difference between an incorporated town and city is a different level of power to the local government as well as a sizable difference in population.

Being one of America’s oldest cities, Boston is full of historically badass moments.  Some of the events leading up to the American Revolution went down in the city like the Boston Massacre in 1770, where five citizens were killed by British soldiers when tension between the Bostonians and British reached a boiling point.  Crispus Attucks, the first to be killed, is considered the first casualty of the American Revolution.

boston-tea-party-3On December 16, 1773, Boston again inches closer to revolution with The Boston Tea Party.  A group of Bostonians calling themselves the Sons of Liberty lead a crowd onto ships to throw three hundred chests of tea overboard into the Boston Harbor.  This event was caused by the recent passing of the Tea Act, which mandated that tea be bought only from the East India Company, forcibly cutting colonists off from merchants in London with whom they shared trade agreements.

After the American Revolution ends, Boston then takes some credit in the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution as Bostonian Robert Cabot Lowell builds the nation’s first textile mill.  Right in the middle of this new revolution Boston is finally incorporated as a city and from this point continues to grow to become the major cultural hub it is today.  Millions of people travel to visit sights like Boston’s Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, Cambridge – Harvard & MIT, Paul Revere’s House, and Boston Harbor Island.  Hopefully I’ll have a chance to see some of these attractions during my trip.

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Michael Cunningham’s A Home at the End of the World

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

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If you’re a fan of beautifully written stories and you don’t need a happy ending, look no further than Michael Cunningham’s A Home at the End of the World.  This book will challenge your conventions, your emotions, and your vocabulary.  This is the story of four people each on their own journey to find love, or find how to love, in the hopes that it will lead to each one’s happiness.

The book is told in first-person but changes narrators every chapter, allowing you to get a closer understanding of each character as you see events in their perspectives and hear the darker thoughts that they keep from everyone else.  While the story does have four narrators, it focuses more on the two men, Bobby Morrow and Jonathan Glover.  Claire, the boys’ female companion in later years, gets more chapters than Alice, Jonathan’s mother.  But only Bobby and Jonathan are present throughout the novel.

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Starting in the boys’ youth, they bond over music, drugs and some mutual masturbation.  After high school the boys spend some time apart when Jonathan moves to New York.  Bobby eventually follows suit and moves in with him and Claire.  They form an unconventional family once Bobby completes the trio.  Claire ends up taking Bobby on as her lover to fulfill her physical needs.  She also looks to Jonathan for an emotional and intellectual connection.  Jonathan and Bobby’s relationship becomes more like that of brothers than romantic despite Jonathan’s ideas of wanting Bobby for himself.

The group seems to work well for a time, but in the end each of them is alone in some way or another.  Cunningham may end up breaking your heart by the end of this story Beautiful Thinkers, but don’t let that stop you from giving this story a chance.  A Home at the End of the World is a truly heart-breakingly beautiful and original story.  If his other writing is even half as gorgeous as this novel, it’s no wonder Cunningham won a Pulitzer Prize.

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Rebel Wilson is Rebelicious!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

tumblr_mcd4y5YPQK1rjb8e7o1_500 I hope that all of you have seen the 2012 musical comedy Pitch Perfect by now.  If you haven’t, what’s stopping you? It’s scored a spot in my Top Ten Favorite Movies at the 11:18 marker.  That is the moment that Fat Amy walked into my life. Played by Rebel Wilson (Yes that is her real name!!), Fat Amy is non-stop hilarious in all of her scenes.  The Hollywood Reporter stated that Wilson was the first person to be cast in Pitch Perfect, which she auditioned for using Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory, along with her own body percussion.

rebel-wilson-bullett-magIf you don’t lovingly know her for her role of Fat Amy, you may know Wilson from her roles in the movies Bridesmaids, Bachelorette, Struck By Lightning, or What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  You can also catch her in the up-coming movie Pain & Gain.  Wilson is originally from Australia, but spent a year in South Africa as a Rotary International Youth Ambassador.  While there she contracted malaria, giving her hallucinations in which she saw herself as an actress who won an Oscar.  Probably one of the more interesting stories of how someone was inspired to pursue a career in acting, don’t you think Beautiful Thinkers?

Rebel Wilson isn’t just an actress though.  She also has experience as a writer, stand-up comedian, and producer.  She first gained attention for a stage musical called The Westie Monologues, which she wrote, starred in, and produced, giving her even more experience in front of the camera.  She has also taken on the role of spokesperson for Jenny Craig in Australia.

3bb28645e563c5c99b0187fa4a377103Outside of her entertainment career, Wilson also has her law degree from University of New South Wales.  Her other ventures include a T-shirt line called Fat Mandi, named after skit show character that may have been partial inspiration to the Fat Amy character, selling plus size designs only.  The Fat Mandi slogan is “Not for skinny bitches” and right now the company has two different shirt designs up for sale on the website.  They feature donuts and cupcakes over the wearer’s breasts.  Hopefully there’s more to come from this brand that encouraging girls to love their bodies.  It seems we’re only getting a sneak peek at what Rebel Wilson has to offer.

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Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 Ready to Wear

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I’ve never had the money to be a brand snob but I like to think that I have my own sense of style.  Today I’m checking out the Spring 2013 Ready to Wear collection from Marc Jacobs to see if there’s anything I would incorporate into my wardrobe rotation.

Looking at the new line you’ll notice that Jacobs has chosen red, tan, and grey for his color palette this spring.  Sounds good in theory, right?  No clashing colors, and probably ones that you already have in your wardrobe.  But looking at the clothing itself I’m not sure any of Jacobs’ pieces are for me.

In the men’s clothing he appears to be taking inspiration from botany with his “Crazy Cacti, Papaya Split, and Fragmented Floral” patterns. Outside of the plant theme, Jacobs is using his chosen color palette in mostly horizontal stripe patterns.  While I’m sure that some people might be looking at the line thinking that it looks pretty snazzy, I just don’t think that I’m a plants and stripes kind of guy.

Ladies if you’re a fan of stripes then you’re in luck: it looks like the women’s line is even more focused on this design.  Although the plant theme has completely vanished, it’s been replaced with more solid-colored pieces and a few grey and tan camouflage prints.  Most of the looks also include dresses or skirts around length. The line looks like it includes one pair each of shorts and pants.

Overall I’d say that the ladies collection looks better, but I’m not sure that I’d really be thrilled to see my friends in any of these outfits anymore than I see myself in any of the men’s attire.  Honestly there were only a few looks that I really liked from the new Spring 2013 collection, none of which would actually fit me seeing as they were all looks for women. For better views at these looks check out Marc Jacobs site.

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My personal taste aside, Marc Jacobs isn’t a style icon for nothing.  If anything I described sounds good to you maybe you should give his new line a look and decide for yourselves, Beautiful Thinkers.  But no matter what you’re wearing, remember I love you for your brains. (Wow did that sound like an after school special gone zombie or what?)

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The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I think it’s fair to say that most people have at least a visual of Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night from all of it’s appearances throughout pop culture.  From having songs written about it, Don McLean’s Vincent, to appearing in television shows, for some reason the episode of Boy Meets World where Cory and Topanga see it is the first that comes to mind for me, you’d have to be living under a rock without cellphone service or a wi-fi hotspot to have not seen this painting.

I thought about what I actually knew about the painting itself and the answer was not a lot.  So today I made it my mission to find out what I could about this masterpiece.  Let me throw down the basic stats for you before I share all the backstory:

CRI_133075Title: The Starry Night

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Year: 1889

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Size: 29 x 36 ¼ in.

Style: Post-Impressionism

Genre: Landscape

Location of Origin: Saint Remy, France

Current Location: Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) New York, NY

Of course those stats don’t really tell us anything about why the painting captures so much attention.  It could in part be because of the painter himself: Vincent Van Gogh lived an interesting but ultimately tragic life that included self-mutilation and suicide.  And if we’re being honest, who among us doesn’t love the drama of a tragic backstory?  Van Gogh was never successful during his lifetime.  He sent his paintings to his brother Theo who was an established art dealer in Paris, but he was hardly able to sell any of paintings while Van Gogh was alive.

To add to the tragedy, after Van Gogh cut off his own ear in a fit of hallucinations and delivered it to a prostitute, his neighbors petitioned for his hospitalization.  Van Gogh spent late 1888-mid 1890 in an asylum in Saint Remy, France.  It was in this time period that The Starry Night was painted, June of 1889.

Vincent-Van-Gogh-9515695-3-402           Van Gogh painted from memory during the day, which was different from his usual way of painting as fast as he could in the moment of seeing the subject of his painting.  According to some sources it is said to be a painting of the view from his barred windows at the asylum.  I think that this painting can be viewed as an example of his interest in the relationship between dreams and reality.  In a letter to his brother about a year before his time in the asylum he said, “looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.  Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?  Just as we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star.”

If it isn’t the artist’s life that fascinates you, the painting can certainly speak for itself.  The way that the brush strokes pull the cloud swirls, star blazes, and other aspects of the night sky together keep the viewer’s eyes moving around the painting. The town below combines dark, cool colors with glowing, warm ones in a human reflection of the heavenly sky above.  And the cypress tree looks like an earth-toned flame.  The use of color and form combined makes this work of art truly beautiful.

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