Matthew Day Jackson was inspired by a version of Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers paintings that was lost during aerial bombing of Ashiya, Japan which occurred August 5-6, 1945. On August 6th, 1945 the United States dropped the first nuclear weapon on Hiroshima and again on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Between both bombings, up to 250,000 people were killed along with much of their belongings engulfed in fire. Increased Bombing on cities and its civilian population continued across Japan until August 15th, 1945, the day of Japanese Surrender. Jackson’s work serves as a reminder that in the use of nuclear weapons and bombing cities we lose not only life but also our humanity.
This work by Matthew Day Jackson is now on view at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, until 14 October.
Matthew Day Jackson
Destroyed by Fire (Still Life: Vase with Five Sunflowers)
Scorched wood, powder coated stainless steel frame
130.8 x 101.9 x 10.2 cm | 51.5 x 40.1 x 4 in