In a break with "tradition" (i.e., my usual Photo Hunt practice), I'm posting an image that's not my creation along with a photograph that I took. And if you're wondering, of course there's a story and reason behind my doing so, and here it is:-
The photograph above the Photo Hunters button is, in keeping with this week's Shoes theme, a pair of boots. At first glance, they may seem like a couple of ordinary -- and humbler than usual -- pieces of footwear. Look more closely, however, and you'll find that they're actually a ceramic rendition of a pair of boots rather than the real McCoy. (Hence my "artistic" decision to photograph them on a background of ceramic tiles! ;b )
More specifically, they're a miniature as well as ceramic pair of boots; ones that I bought in large part because they remind me of the boots -- and related footwear -- that one of my favorite artists of all time, Vincent van Gogh, sketched and painted several still lifes of (most frequently during his Paris period but, also, would return to during at least once later in Arles).
One of the reasons that I like the work of van Gogh as much as I do is because, unlike so many fine artists before him (and since), he'd paint and thereby draw attention to humble subject matter. Instead of noble lords and ladies, he painted poor, presumably honest laborers like field hands, miners and other potato eaters. Instead of roses and other expensive flowers, he depicted irises and sunflowers. Instead of fur, velvet or jewellery, he focused on boots and shoes.
So, yes, it does seem pretty ironic that his works have come to regularly command the highest prices at art auctions and such as well as hang in many of the world's major museums. And even more so when it's realized that this tormented genius -- one of those who truly was (too) far ahead of his time -- never managed to sell a single painting over the course of his life! ;S