"Your art is shit," is the refrain of a surprisingly uplifting short by filmmaker Dylan Carter that we shared over the weekend, but it's also the basic sentiment that Vincent van Gogh weathered throughout his entire career. In the age of viral videos and the idolization of the "emerging artist," the thought of waiting nine long years to sell a single painting seems absurd—no, unbearable. In the third installment of UK filmmaker Adam Westbrook's video essay series, The Long Game, he examines van Gogh's autotelic drive to experiment and solve problems in the medium of painting. In other words, Westbrook argues that the secret to van Gogh's mastery was that he loved making art, no matter how many times he was told that it was shit.
The Long Game Part 3: Painting in the Dark comes two years after the first two installments, which dissect the concept of the archetypal starving artist who spends years mastering his craft before receiving any attention or recognition, primarily through the story of Leonardo DaVinci. Westbrook has started a Patreon page to raise money so that Part 4 can come a bit sooner. Check out the full series in the videos below.
Parts 1 & 2: