Painting of the Day

18 Feb
















Starry Night. by David Van-Goghberg. Made of various hardware store parts, 2011. On view at the Union Hardware Store, Bethesda, Maryland.

Notes from

It is Union Hardware’s pioneering tradition that is the genesis of Starry Night.  Our goal was to create a living piece of art that not only           reflects our commitment to being distinctly different, but to also illustrate our whimsical and groundbreaking           spirit.
       Looking at a warehouse containing older and in some cases out of style and discontinued door hardware,        we asked what could we possible do to put these products to better use.  We knew that their commercial        viability was limited.  Instead of sending them to the scrap yard, we decided to create something memorable.
May 22 2011
Our initial thought was to use the hardware to recreate signage for the showroom’s exterior.            We quickly discovered that the Union Hardware name in brass plates and knobs was not a good idea so it was           back to the drawing board.
May 30 2011
I looked for inspiration and found it among our one-of-a-kind showroom displays.
May 30 2011
I continued to experiment with images of water drops and then it hit me.  Starry Night was born.            I could replicate Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece using discontinued door knobs, levers and plates.
Chrome levers were employed to emulate the swirling clouds in the painting. I counted on the brass         fixtures tarnishing so that the finished work would darken evenly to provide a rich visual appearance.
August 4 2011
The bottom half of Starry Night presented another challenge.  There is a village to the right of the        painting and an ominous,disproportionately sized tree on the left hand side.  To get the necessary visual flow,        we moved the tree further out and it worked!
August 10 2011
With the design finalized, it was now time to attach the hardware. I drilled and mounted hundreds of knobs        and levers to create our version of Starry Night.  The final piece of the puzzle was to select materials that        could withstand all weather conditions.
The solution was to use PVC plastic in similar size and thickness as the plywood base.       To prevent the paint from peeling, we used dyes mixed with clear PVC primer that actually melted into the top layer      of the plastic.
Installation was the final phase of our Starry Night project.  We made a frame out of PVC and stained it too           look like wood.  We also built a frame for the bottom to account for the slope and support both the work           and the elevated tree in the foreground.  After the frame and support were in place, we attached the           six 4′ by 4′ PVC panels.
October 24 2011
What would Starry Night be if you it did not look great after the sun went down?  Lights were installed         shortly after the installation.
Starry Night is a living piece of art.  The sun causes colors to fade requiring us to repaint twice a year to         the delight of our customers and visitors to downtown Bethesda.  With each painting, Starry Night looks different.
November 26 2011

My comments:

This is a pretty unusual art piece that I happened to come across on facebook and thought it was so cool, I had to post it here. Above is a page from the hardware store’s website that gives you a glimpse into the creation of this magnificent reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The use of the different hardware parts remind me of a three-dimensional version of Gustav Klimt’s patterned painting. It really makes Van Gogh’s piece that much more romantic and whimsical. It’s amazing to think that Van Gogh painted Starry Night near the end of his life, when he was nearly in his darkest hour. But this Starry Night is absolutely gorgeous, and it shows you that art can be created out of anything.

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