Conjuring Up van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in a Bowl of Water
Recreating Vincent van Gogh paintings in unexpected mediums has become something of a trend in recent years: We’ve seen everything from“Starry Night” drawn with bacteria in a petri dish to “Olive Trees” rendered as crop art. The latest and most dazzling addition to the van Gogh tribute movement comes from Turkish artist Garip Ay, who paints a rendition of “Starry Night” using ebru, or paper marbling, in a bowl of water.
Ebru, a decorative paper art, hails from East and Central Asia in the 10th and 16th centuries, respectively. The technique involves sprinkling and brushing pigments onto the surface of oily water in a pan, then laying paper atop the water, effectively dyeing the paper with tendrils of color. Ay is classically trained in the art form, and his loose, paisley-like patterns beautifully mimic the Dutch post-Impressionist’s celestial swirls. His process is animated in the most mesmerizing video the van Gogh fanboy cult has yet produced. To reveal the extent of his ebru chops, Ay also creates a striking marbled portrait of van Gogh himself.