Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Doing Van Gogh Proud with a Solar-Powered Bike Trail

Dutch cyclists on nighttime journeys through the province of North Brabant get to experience some of the magic from Vincent Van Gogh's well-known painting, The Starry Night, with their course illuminated by thousands of glittering stones. Van Gogh painted in Nuenen, adjacent to the path, and the bike path designer, Daan Roosegaarde, wanted to create a tribute to him.      

In a press release, Roosegaarde, commented: 

I wanted to create a place that people will experience in a special way, the technical combined with experience, that's what techno-poetry means to me. 
As noted in this Slate article:
The path is coated in photoluminescent paint that's also embedded with small LEDs powered by nearby solar panels. The path essentially charges all day so that it can glow during the night and it also has backup power in case it's overcast.  
Van Gogh went from total obscurity to become one of the most recognized, popular artists of all time. During an interview about his biography, Van Gogh: The Life, author Steven Naifeh explains the artist's popularity:

There’s an overwhelming genuineness to his paintings. Even if people know that he cut his ear off and was an unhappy person, he was able to extract jubilant images from the deep well of sorrow that was his life. One of Vincent’s favorite readings was Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “Sorrowful but always rejoicing.” That is what his paintings do.