A Penny for van Gogh's Thoughts

Self-Portrait with Straw Hat (1887)
13.7 10.5 inches.  oil on cardboard mounted on panel.  Acquired by the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1922.
version on pedestalThis life size sculptural version of the D.I.A.'s self portrait of van Gogh sits at eye level on a pedestal.  When a penny is inserted into its ear, an audio file, one of a hundred and sixty, is played.  Though the audios' durations vary from three seconds to two and a half minutes, they average seventeen seconds.  The content of the audios are snippets of accounts of activities- auctions, reviews and stories - among the high end international contemporary art market.  The snippets are performed by various synthetic voices.  These are  interspersed with observations and ideas that might exist in van Gogh's mind.    Audio files of van Gogh's musings are perfomed in a Dutch-American accent by the human actor, Robert Maniscalco
Tulips; 3D version of van Gogh painting
back of 3D version
Right side
Epoxy painted ceramic version of van Gogh's "Self Portrait with Straw Hat (2016) life size.   Version's partial backside covered with dollar bills.    Only those areas required to represnt the original oil painting are painted.
A few snippets;
1. Barbara Guggenheim's story
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
3. The really rich people
4. Twelve million for a dead shark?
5. Very important people line up differently
a few musings:
1. Art is a lie
2. No money in art
3. Sell your cleverness
4. Religion and art
5. Do not leave your room

A two and a  half minute YouTube video 

 I thank the legendary forensic software Master, Andy Johnson-Laird for his essential assitence with the electronics, programmming and his creative voice and audio  work in the Easter Egg as "The Maintenance Chief"  in charge of unplugging the ear.  The material for all of the audio snippets was taken from that thieves paradise, the internet.  The artist acknowledges and thanks the original writers who include Judith H. Dobrzynski, Marion Maneker, Nick Paumgarten, Kenny Schacter and Carol Vogel  and the publications they write for including ArtPrice.com, the N.Y.Times and the New Yorker.  The musings of the artist are taken from whereever artists put things.   Thanks also to Allan Stone wherever he is.  And finally acknowledgment to Robert Maniscalco who went on to exploit Mr. van Gogh even more than me,  for being generous with his thespian talent (not that I gave him a choice ).
Jim Pallas, March 2016