Van Gogh’s Ear: In the flesh

The romantic, if not crazed, story of how painter Vincent Van Gogh severed his ear to win back his lover shows a man writhing in anguish and heartbreak. However, for fans of the post-impressionist painter, his ear will be on display at The Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. The ear is a feat of 3-dimensional printing; created using the DNA of one of his living relatives and formulated with his size in mind, the ear is as close a replica as has ever been shown. Although some critics are calling the exhibit piece pointless, the ear gives a human quality to the renown tortured artist, as well as brandishing the advances in 3-d printing capability. If this exhibit were in New York, it would surely draw some serious crowds. What do we think? Too creepy? 


self portrait with bandaged ear

Personally, my love for Van Gogh’s art is not hindered by the mystery of his lost ear. I do not feel the need for closure about this lost vestige to appreciate “Starry Night”. Nonetheless, if this ear were say, on display at the MoMA, I would definitely take a look. The importance of this recreation is in the momentous stride in technology that it represents. Van Gogh would probably faint at the sight of what can be called an ear farm.


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