I. M. Looken takes a stab at ArtSpeak...
What I noticed first of all about this self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh was the way the face stood out in the painting. The artist uses many elements of design to make this happen. First, color is used to blend the background and the jacket together. This helps us focus on the face. Once we look at the face, we see that warm colors are used in contrast to the cool color of the background. When we focus on the face, we see pentrating eyes that link with the background colors. I think van Gogh used these colors and contrasts to make a strong statement about how he saw himself stand out as an artist. The central, balanced way the face sits on the canvas adds to this strength. But this is different than older portraits of presidents and generals which are very serious. The swirling pattern of the textured paint adds a rhythym that I think says that Vincent van Gogh wanted to standout in an interesting way. Not to be like everybody else.
(since this isn't saved, do you want to print or save it?)
Eyes on Art