Artist Jan Fabre (1958, Antwerp, Belgium) responds to Van Gogh's letter from 20 August 1882.
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.