The Pumpkin Eaters

The Pumpkin Eaters
Each year we get a great international submission. this year it came from Belgium. I will let the submitter describe his creation in his own words.

Dear Extreme Pumpkins,

My name is Jonas Vereecke (nickname Jonesky) I'm 24 years old and I live in Ghent, Belgium (indeed, overseas good old Europe) and with this e-mail I'm sending you some pictures of my first Halloween pumpkin ever (!). Yes that's true, I had never made a Jack-o-lantern before, so I started browsing the web to find out how to do so. That's how I found out about Extreme Pumpkins. I'm very proude of my pumpkin and hope to get into the Extreme Pumkin Contest anno 2005.

Up until a few years ago, Halloween, being a typical American tradition was pretty unkown down here. We only knew little about it from the movies and didn't celebrate it. But now the commercial market is introducing the feast into our lives by selling all kinds of Halloween merchandise in European shops. So I started thinking about cutting my first Jack-o-lantern. I wanted to visualise the Euro-American symbiosis into a original piece. I really love art, so why not cut out a famous European painting, I thought.

Vincent Van Gogh is probably one of the world's most famous painters, but sunflowers and Halloween don't really match, do they? No problem 'cause it wasn't my favourite Van Gogh anyway. Vincents painting I've always liked the most is definately "De Aardappeleters" or "Potatoeaters" because of the intense atmosphere it sends out to the viewer. It shows some Dutch farmers eating potatoes they've just harvested. The scene is set in october-november, right before winter falls (around Halloween), when people also eat the pumpkins they've grown. The lack of light, the shadows and the worn faces make the image very intense and allmost scary. In fact this scene is not very far of my own roots. My grandparents lived most of their lives in similar conditions, having been simple farmers themselves. Even my parents grew up like this, before they came to the city to study at the University as the first in the family to do so. Could I have chosen a better image to cut out a pumpkin? I don't think so. "The Pumpkineaters" was born!