Vincent Van Gogh: the story beyond a self-portrait

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Vincent Van Gogh: the story beyond a self-portrait.


We are here today with Sir Vincent who kindly accepted this interview after almost 110 years of silence, it’s my pleasure to start this unique conversation, trying to understand your character with a simple but significant question:

- Mr. Van Gogh we know you as a sensitive, introverted but some times even very “loony” persona, so please tell me which important event changed your life?

Oh dear thank you for having me today, this is such an important opportunity to clear some facts that everyone keep talking about even nowadays.

To answer your question you need to know that during my trubled life I’ve passed trought some dark periods, I was able to find peace just in my frenetic work as arist. I tryed different techniques and combination of colors. But I suffered of a form of epilepsy that caused in me a wierd behavior. So one afternoon my dear friend Gauguin was visiting me in my nice little yellow house. I’ve always enjoyed his presence, well this time Paul was worried, because I was acting very nervous, we started arguing about his thecnique ( I strongly belived that he needed a change!), I was such a stupid you know, I’ve always criticied his work i the past, but this time was different. I was out of myself, he didn’t want to listen what I was saying ( actually nobody ever did it!), but I was used to it! He was scared when he left me alone, I felt so empty without him. That makes me realized that Paul was the only one who truly tryed to understend me...And that he was gone..Forever!


I was so sensitive at that time that I grabed the knife (the one that I used that morning to cut someonions..You know I’m a great cook!) and two secons later a pice of my ear fell down on the ground. It was just a little pice (no the whole ear as everyone think!), but the blod was everywhere arround. Everything that I felt later was just a confusing fog inside my brain.

-How affacinating Mr. Van Gogh!

Oh you can call me Vince, I’m not very into formal stuff.

-Ok Vince, the next question that I would like to ask you is: Who the most significant person in your life?

I suppose that an answer such as my parents or relatives would be too easy and boring. Even if my dear brother Theo was my best supporter, I bet you know that the most important person in my life was my dear and fair friend Paul Gauguin.
We were very close and we shared some very interesting pices of life together. After a peaceful period spent together in Southern-

France painting (that was a delightful place!) he left me as I said before and he moved in South-Pacific. I know that was my

fault, I know he loved me, but life with the old Vince is very hard...Let’s say I’m not the perfect room mate!

-Well, don’t say that Vince, you are not a bad person! Do you know that your pictures nowadays are the most expansive pices of work of all times? What do you think about it?

Oh please don’t even say it!!! Through all my life I’ve spent my days chasing money, as you know my dad was just a Shepard of a small community in Netherlands, only my brother Theo was able to halp me with some money every now and than, so when I chosed to move in France I was truly hoping in a better life. But, my dear, life is hard and not always able to pay back your efforts. Well actually it did it with me, unfortunately when people started to appriciate my hard work and pay it with big money I was...Uhm...already dead!!!


-But Mr. you chosed to stop your life remeber?

Yes, you made a good point. I’ve always been the only one to make decisions about my life, I was (well I still am in a certain way) a free spirit and at that time I thoght that it was better for me to stop my miserable life even if I was a deep beliver of God Word. Which man is the one who can’t be what he want to be? Which man is the one who can’t live without his brother money? Which man is the one who scared to dead his best friend with a pice of his own ear in the mail? At that point I wasn’t even able to finish my work... My life was useless! I was just 37 but every single year

weight on me in a terrifying way. My mind was full of voices and I was obsessed by the mess that was going on in my brain!

-Oh I see Vince, I’m sorry, I suppose that this still hurts you badely. But that’s why people marked you as the “Mad Genius” because of your original personality isn’t it right?

I guess so, but I would like much better to be remebered as a brilliant artist instead of a “Crazy Horse” with a trubled life. But I suppose that this is my fault too... I couldn’t halp it! I was possessed by this crazy voices inside my head, I’ve to say that now that I’m dead it gets better! People see just what they want to see and they think to me as a weirdo, they don’t understand my art, they see just a nice picture with nice colors,

but there’s more! My art is impulsive, simple but complicated at the same time...it reflects my personality!


As I always say the best picture, the most complete one seen from nearby, is just patches of colors side by side, but it will make sense only if you look at it from a certain distance. The same is

for me, if you look at my life closely you will see just a big mess, but if you take the distances and you analyse just the good things, you will see that I’m not such a weird person, you will see that I’ve always tryied my best in everything I did.

-Well said Sir! Interesting point of view! Now if you don’t mind I would like to ask you about your self-portrait with pipe...

Oh my beloved pipe!!! Thanks for the question I love to talk about this picture, is one of my favourite, because of the colors, they are so brilliant and I’ve marked the borders in such a meticoulous way. I’m proud of this pice of work! You know in 1889 I was in Paris and I was very into the self-portrait thing. I started looking for an inspiring model, but they where so expansive for my empty pockets!

So I chosed to depict myself (even if I wasn’t very happy with that!) with different expressions, from different point of view, with different colors, with my hat on or without it.

But the one that express better my status at that time it’s most certanly this one. Just look at it and you will understand how much I was suffering, you can tell it by the eyes, my pale face, the lost expression and the bendage on my ear. If you look close at my eyes you can see how proud I was even if the situation wasn’t the best one! This is a sing of my strong personality: my stare. I look so old, but I was just 36, can you belive it?

You know, one of my bad habits that my dad passed me was smoking. That pipe is one of the fiew presents that he ever gave me. As I always say: the best picture is the one made while smoking my dear pipe!


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