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Design Interpretation September 21, 2009

Posted by smidget08 in Uncategorized.

I decided to take a look at a favorite of mine: Vincent Van Gogh’s “Cafe at Night”


LITERAL: I see a café. You see the starry sky (a large part of many of Van Gogh’s masterpieces), you see the tables and chairs and people sitting there. You see a waiter, and you see a gorgeous use of color. You can also see the balconies and the different textures of the cobblestones, tree, and railings.

 TEXTURAL: Texturally (where it fits into a story or text) I imagine that this could be quite a few stories. It could be the tale of a back-alley (generalized from the minimal people in the painting) café’s success, it could hold a hidden love story, it could be the cover of a mystery novel, as you can see there are thousands of ways this could be portrayed as a story. I feel like the not necessarily desolate, but empty feeling of this painting makes room for many interpretations.

 INTERTEXTUAL: The bright yellow value concentration in the bottom left side shows us that is where the focus should be. The people are very concentrated instead of spread out in the small café, which could show that maybe this is a party or a meeting?



1. gotgestalt - September 25, 2009

Intertextual refers primarily to what other images, historical references, styles or known events that the image could be linked to. In your case, it is possible it is a party or a meeting, but the vacancy of figures, more likely references a particular style of casualness, sensibility, leisure, or even emptiness and tranquility that would be consistent with the space as it’s depicted. Or also, how does it relate to some of his other works? Does it reference any of those?

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