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The Head of a Man

Gift Lubele inspired by Vincent Van Gogh

Unknown thoughts, Both good and bad.

silent conversations, with ourselves and the universe inside us.

World-changing ideas, who may come to live or die with us.

Ignored actions that held the power to make us entirely different people, or not.

This and so much more, all happening, sometimes even at once inside the head of a man.

One of the most significant art work pieces ever drawn by an artist whose work has changed how the world sees feels and even imagines is the face of a man. You and I do not know this man, he is not famous nor rich, in fact, it is just a man, an ordinary man who lived an ordinary life with ordinary thoughts. Treats that are considered lame, boring and a sign of failure in today’s Morden life. Even now I wonder if these very traits are the reason Vincent Van Gogh chose to draw this man.

It is in the afternoon, my body recovering from the hush cold outside where I stood for some time trying to enter the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Approaching the door, I am welcomed by a warm breeze mixed with different perfumes, both expensive and cheap, almost warning me that all those inside have prepared for this special visit with the use of best cosmetics.

Upon entering, a sense of excitement approaches encouraging me to take out my phone seamlessly without effort to capture this moment, this exciting fleeting feeling I may one day when feeling down revisit by scrolling down my phone and trying to relive it. Deep in my mind I know that it is not possible, I am fully aware that time passed can never be regained but that doesn’t stop me. As I am about to take the image, a beautiful dutch woman, ad yes she was beautiful, comes to me, and starts speaking dutch. Eyes wide open, I start shaking my head, perhaps she thought I am a local since a used a card I borrowed from one of the people hosting us. “English?” She asks. Yes, “I respond”. “Okay sir, remember you are permitted to take pictures, just not with the artwork as we have selfie rooms”.

Thank you with a confused smile, a bit disappointed since I envisioned an image of myself with the amazing artwork. I respond while putting my phone in my pocket heading towards the first floor where I see an introduction to Vincent Van Gogh’s life. Almost instantly I experience a moment of AWE! Amazed by the exhibition of the life of an individual who lived his life poor, suffered from mental illness, a complete misfit, a man with an ordinary life, perhaps even poor life.

And then there it was, The head of a man in a frame, painted by Vincent Van Gogh in November 1884 - February 1885. Dusty his face is, not that I touched or smelled it but I could tell by the finishing touch of a rough paint brush track, intentionally left there by Vincent to demonstrate perhaps that this man was just from a wheat field, or a potato field or whatever poor people harvested back then. In his mouth is a smoking pipe, naturally balanced by his lower lips effortlessly, showing that at some point this smoking pipe used to help relief stress but now it has merged with stress and became part of him, or whatever was left of him.

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