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Van Gogh Alive Exhibition in Málaga Municipality in Málaga Province Andalucia

Sat 9 Mar 2019 - Sun 9 Jun 2019

By Nick Nutter | 26 Apr 2019

Van Gogh the man

On the 27th July 1890, at the age of 37, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in the chest. The bullet lodged near his spine. Considered a failure and mad; even this, his final gesture, was unsuccessful. Van Gogh walked back to his lodgings in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris where he was treated by two doctors. They failed to stop an infection caused by the wounds and he died some 30 hours later.

This was not Van Gogh’s first attempt at self-harm. He famously cut off his left ear with a razor following an argument with another artist, Paul Gaugin. He wrapped the ear in newspaper and delivered it to a brothel that both he and Gaugin frequented.

Unlike Gaugin, Van Gogh, although a hugely prolific artist, could never make money from his work. He was supported financially by his brother, Theo, who also happened to be his agent. During his career, which spanned from 1881 until his death, Van Gogh produced over 2,100 works of art, including 860 oil paintings. He managed to sell only one officially, ‘The Red Vineyard at Arles’, to Anna Boch, a Belgian artist and collector. She paid 400 Belgian francs, an amount equivalent to $10,000 today. In 1990 ‘The Portrait of Doctor Gachet’ was sold at auction for $82.50 million. This previously obscure work now holds the distinction of being the most expensive painting sold at auction.

Doctor Gachet was not the only physician to capture Van Gogh’s imagination. In 1889 he painted a portrait of a Doctor Felix Rey that he subsequently gave to the doctor. Rey was unimpressed and used the painting to repair a chicken shed. In 2016 the painting was rescued and moved to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art where it is now estimated to be worth $50 million.

It was only after his death that Vincent Van Gogh captured the public imagination, partly due to his eccentric, at times bizarre, life and partly due to the vibrancy of his later work and his use of colour to express emotion through his art.

Van Gogh the experience

It is entirely apt that an exhibition of Van Gogh’s work should be as eccentric as his life. Until the 9th June 2019, you can see the world’s most visited travelling multimedia exhibition at the Paseo de la Farola in Málaga Port.

Multiple free hanging screens create spaces in which the audience are intimately introduced to his life and work. The audience are immersed in the exhibition as the images of his work shimmer and swirl around and over the assembly. A narrative, in Spanish and English, ghosts into view and disappears again as the display moves through the years. The whole is accompanied by music, sometimes as depressed as Van Gogh, at other times as exuberant as his later paintings. A single shot from a revolver signals the end.

The multi media show runs at fixed times and places are limited for each showing.

Tickets must be booked either at the exhibition itself or via the website www.vangogh.es.

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