Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.
By now, you’ve likely heard about the summer blockbuster exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada. Indeed, Van Gogh is popping up everywhere, from the Museum of Civilization’s special IMAX film to Third Wall’s theatrical presentation celebrating the life of the Dutch painter.
While we’re hyped to see the show, we can’t help but warn against the inevitable sense of ennui that always follows a brush with the work of such an artist — and suggest a cure.
I’m talking about the feeling following The Gallery Visit. Upon return to the ho-hum of regular life, it can be a bit depressing to discuss the particulars of a piece of art, how it moved you, changed your perception of impressionism, etc. The exhibit may well have affected you, but unless you’re preparing to pack up your paint brushes and study nature “up close”, it can seem like a dream — pleasant, but easily forgotten.
This particular exhibit also comes with its own devastating storyline of depression and self-mutilation. Try working that into cocktail party convo. These aren’t easily packaged issues, as Annabelle Kienle explains in the exhibition catalogue.
More easily packaged are the raft of themed knick-knacks inspired by the exhibit — like this bone china mug. For $19.99, you can ponder detail from Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers while enjoying your coffee. Available at the National Gallery Bookstore, it’s among a special selection of pieces brought in to accompany the Van Gogh exhibit. Pick up a memory from your visit on the way out — it will double as a great way to work brush strokes and colour theory into daily life.
The Look: Pleasant and full of fun surprises.
Perfect for: Art lovers — and those who buy gifts for them.
USP: Find a sampling of items related to Van Gogh: Up Close on the NGC website.
National Gallery of Canada Bookstore (first floor), http://www.gallery.ca
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