"When van Gogh painted a small pear tree in flower, the act of the sap rising, of the bud forming, the bud breaking, the flower opening, the styles thrusting out, the stigmas becoming sticky, these acts were all present for him in the act of painting. When he painted a road, the roadmakers were there in his imagination. When he painted the turned earth of a ploughed field, the gesture of the blade turning the earth was included in his own act. Wherever he looked he saw the labor of existence; and this labor, recognized as such, was what constituted reality for him."
— John Berger, from And our faces, my heart, brief as photos