Social Isolation and its Impact on the Artist

In Art Collecting, Art Galleries

Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh also spent time in social isolation? After Van Gogh infamously mutilated his ear, he spent 53 weeks in almost complete isolation at an asylum called Saint-Paul-de-Mausole.

Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo: "To sacrifice one's freedom, to stand outside society and to have only one's work, without distraction… it's beginning to weigh too heavily upon me here."

In The Art Newspaper, Martin Bailey wrote a fascinating piece about Van Gogh's artistic development during isolation. Bailey says, "Within the asylum's walls he developed his art in a highly personal and idiosyncratic way, almost uninfluenced his peers or by market considerations. This left him free to take bold artistic decisions, creating the Van Gogh that we now love."

In The Art Newspaper, Martin Bailey wrote a fascinating piece about Van Gogh's artistic development during isolation. Bailey says, "Within the asylum's walls he developed his art in a highly personal and idiosyncratic way, almost uninfluenced his peers or by market considerations. This left him free to take bold artistic decisions, creating the Van Gogh that we now love."

The implications of Van Gogh's development could mean something very significant to the contemporary art collector. After and perhaps even during this social isolation, we may have the opportunity to see some truly inspiring artists develop.

I'm most looking forward to seeing Roberto Lugo's development. Although I have yet to purchase a piece, he's the primary artist that inspired me to work on Budget Collector. The moment I saw his inspirational work at the Walter's Art Gallery was the moment my life purpose came together.

Lugo did this fascinating tile work dedicating the kitchen space to a former slave who worked in a grand Baltimore historic space. I have always loved historic houses, but I have always felt disingenuous as an African-American woman who wanted a stately old home. However, Lugo's work and perhaps the Whitney's Plantation have rectified that duality about myself.

I'm excited to return the galleries with renewed vigor after the isolation is over. I am also hopeful to see new artists who challenge themselves during this time and create significant works that move art forward in the same way Van Gogh did during his own time of isolation.

Roberto-Lugo