Artwork: JSR '22

Van Gogh

Author: JKF '25
As seen in: The Proper Bostonians #

“Let’s start this interview with a simple question. Van, in just a few sentences, how did you become interested in painting?”

My crush, the most popular girl in school. Myself, the guy who swirled milk together in the back of the cafeteria. “You’d never go out with me, right?” I confirmed, unaware that I would become the most renowned post-impressionist artist on the planet, posthumously. I had tried to woo her with my plan to subvert the naturalist art tradition of the 19th century, which was a stupid idea. She only went for athletes.

The next day at baseball tryouts, I was distracted by a pasture of sunflowers, so striking in the soft, dim light. After I was struck in the face by a pop-up, I became bedridden, a blessing. I shifted my focus from girls and popularity to reorganizing my bedside table. When I decided to leave my bedroom in my mid-twenties, I finally sought professional help. 

My therapist was a retired professor who specialized in post-impressionist art and therapy. “Van, I’m noticing something,” she said after I spent two hours detailing the shapes and colors I had seen through my window on a starry night. “You have poor social skills and remarkable attention to detail. I recommend that you explore the field of art preservation.” 

I spent the next decade in the basement of the Louvre, where my only job was to keep the humidity level at five. I was surrounded by people who loved art, which we never talked about because none of us were friends. I craved a more active role. I began warming Alfredo sauce for the pasta bar on the sixth floor.

So, to answer your question, one day I tried painting because it seemed fun.