June 7 ~  Everyone Is Both Gauguin Maker of Myth

"No one is good; no one is evil; everyone is both, in the same way and in different ways." ~ Paul Gauguin


A man of goodness or evil, artist Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was born on this day in Paris, France and lived in Peru as a child.

First a sailor, then successful stockbroker and weekend artist, he abandoned his wife and five children to paint in exotic South Seas.

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution," he once said.

Gauguin's vibrant post-Impressionist palette was a celebration of passionate colors and bold outlines. Inspired by Paul Cézanne and other avant garde artists, Gauguin is best known for his tumultuous relationship with Vincent Van Gogh, who was the first to hear about Gauguin's dream of a "studio of the tropics."

"What does it matter if I become remote from other people," he wrote. "For most I shall be a riddle, for a few I'll be a poet, and sooner or later what is good comes into its own."

Gauguin sailed to Tahiti (1891), then Punaauia, French Polynesia (1897) to "live like a savage" and find himself through art "to be free at last, with no money troubles, and able to love, to sing, and to die."

He called his style “Synthetism” and believed he painted "by heart" with sensuous forms, abstracts, and pure, unmixed colors. With spirit and simplicity he created his unique vision.

"I am a great artist and I know it," he said, his pioneering innovations continue to inspire.

More Art & Artists Quotations

Let your goodness shine through.