ByVartan Garnikyan, writer at
I've literally made a 30 minute argument that Batman is the modern day Jesus
Vartan Garnikyan

Here's a painting I did a few years back combining [in my opinion] the best scene from The Dark Knight, and my favorite painting by Vincent Van Gogh... This will be the first time I share the real story behind this painting.

I've been a diehard Batman fan for as long as I can remember; but never because he's a superhero, or because I loved comics [even though I really did]... It was always because I felt like the idea of a Batman was what the world always needed. Anyways, I'll get into that in another post, but I brought it up now to emphasize how much effort I went through to see The Dark Knight on opening night lol...

My little brother and I checked countless movie theaters and god knows how long we drove. We finally got lucky and scored some tickets in a shitty movie theater about 20 miles north of our apartment. We waited in line for 9 1/2 hours to get decent seats, and took turns going on Burger King and Starbucks runs; and the occasional pee break. Hella worth it! Still in my top five favorite all-time movies [Fight Club's gotta take the cake on that].

I especially loved this scene from the movie because I felt like it's the only part of the movie where the Joker shows the audience a real side to himself; the only scene where he shows actual human emotion. The reason I painted the Starry Knight is because in that split second, I really did remember "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh... I remember comparing everything I've read about Van Gogh: His problems with reality, his stays in asylums..I had an epiphany during that scene when I started thinking that from what I know about Van Gogh, and Heath Ledger's "Joker", they were the exact same person... Both completely out of their minds, and yet manage to make sense of the world in their own way; possibly better than most of us. In that moment, it also crossed my mind that Van Gogh painted the Starry Night from his cell window in an Asylum. I imaged Van Gogh holding his head close to the window and feeling the wind hit face just as the Joker was doing in my painting. The truth is, you see the Joker, but I'm really drawing Van Gogh.


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