July 29-Aug 1
Painter Vincent Van Gogh (d. July 29, 1890). Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, 1885–86. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. His story has always struck me as particularly tragic. He attempted to dedicate his life to religion, becoming a Protestant pastor in Belgium, giving away all of his possessions to his community. His colleagues found his eccentricities alarming and overly zealous and told him he was ill-suited to their brotherhood. Apparently, it was after this terrible disillusionment that he turned to art at the suggestion of his younger brother Theo. Conceptual artist, or “artist of words,” Jenny Holzer (b. July 29, 1950). Untitled by Jenny Holzer. Filmmaker and photographer Chris Marker (b. July 29, 1921). The site dedicated to his work, Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory, is worth checking out.
Painter Jean Dubuffet (b. July 31, 1901). Jean Dubuffet. Subway (Métro)1949. Painter and printmaker Erich Heckel (b. July 31, 1883). Portrait of a Man, woodcut by Erich Heckel, 1919; in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Photographer Gerda Taro (b. August 1, 1910). Anonymous portrait, July 1932. Artist and all-around-eccentric, Vali Myers( b. August 2, 1930). Portrait by Erica Parrott, 2015. Myers has been a muse to many, many fellow artists and musicians, and the main inspiration for Florence and the Machine‘s third album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful. In 1971, the multimedia magazine Aspen no. 9 published a letter to friends Diane & Shelley from Vali, with photographs. And finally, the painter Laura Knight (b. August 4, 1887). Her 1913 painting, Self-Portrait with a Nude, is below.