Art Reflections

What makes art never go out of style?

Edvard Munch - The Scream  oil painting - Simpsons Halloween SpecialAs I march through the many museums and cultural centers around the world, I encounter numerous works of art. These works carved a certain nitch in art history and could only be found on museum walls.

These exquisite oil paintings might be very expensive; they might be prestigious and even meaningful to many. The art pieces have historic significance, and they may actually be really beautiful. However, what I find interesting is how certain oil paintings just never seem to go out of style. Not only are they priceless and have a deep and profound meaning, but somehow they take us on a journey and become a part of all of our lives.

I wanted to reflect on some of the timeless pieces that seem to have lasted the test of time and are as pertinent as they were when they were first conceived. Not to mention how popular they are today compared to more than a 100 years ago.

The first oil painting is Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry night. Considered by many the most popular painting in the world, it has influenced the western world for the past 130 years. This painting has become ubiquitous in our surroundings. You can find it anywhere from calendars, coasters and iPhone screensavers. It’s pretty amazing how this oil painting, by an artist who sold one single work of art in his lifetime, is so popular these days. A service conducted found Van Gogh’s Starry Night as the most popular print among college students?! So, how does Van Gogh still appeal to the most trend setting and approached market in the United States? That is the question that keeps me up at night…

Another oil painting that has become an icon that has been apart of the modern world for over 120 years is The Scream by Edvard Much. This gray, expressionist Norwegian painter created this masterpiece in the late 1800’s, and yet his Scream still echoes as it symbolizes the most horrific emotions captured on canvas ever. You can find The Scream on T-Shirts, Google logos and even in a Halloween Simpson Special!!! It amazes me that after so many years of classic horror films and the evolution of the human thought this is our best attempt to capture an emotion that is so vivid and memorable?! With that said, I get terrified every time I stare at it.

These are just two examples of many paintings that have withstood the test of time. So, what’s the recipe for success? How can you foresee the next Van Gogh Starry Night? How can we look at works by an artist and proclaim him as the next Claude Monet? These questions probably don’t have a single right answer, we can only hope that art will keep advancing and that new contemporary will join the ranks of the greats that have escaped the trenches of the canvas and made their way to our lives and have become apart of our culture, emotions and thought.

Amitai Sasson

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of overstockArt.com is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to ArtCorner.com as Chief editor and writer.