Artist Jan Fabre (1958, Antwerp, Belgium) responds to Van Gogh's letter from 20 August 1882.
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Jan Fabre, an artist with passion for the creative process, responded to this passage by Vincent van Gogh from a letter dated 20 August 1882:
‘After I’d been sitting in front of that piece of ground for a while drawing, there came a thunderstorm with torrential rain [...] Because I had started before the storm on my knees with a low horizon, I now had to kneel down in the mud’.
Slaving away like a labourer or a peasant. Fabre, as a performance artist and a visual artist, was drawn to this idea of physical effort.
His skulls – the traditional symbol of mortality – are covered with gleaming borer wing-cases and hold brushes in their mouths. With these additions, they seem to send a different message: art and beauty last forever.