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Tragic brilliance

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The name Vincent van Gogh is synonymous to eccentric genius.

From the painter who cut off his ears, to the maestro behind “Starry, Starry Night,” van Gogh’s life was a colorful yet melancholic journey of searching for happiness.

There may be endless tales about him but his masterpieces are his greatest storytellers.

Unlike other geniuses, van Gogh started painting quite late at 27. He was a self-taught artist taking his expertise from books that he devoured.

He was deeply inspired by the post-impressionist movement of the 19th century and was heavily influenced by artists Monet, Pissaro, Bernard and Gauguin.

Van Gogh moved to Paris and immediately fell in love with the city and has discovered his distinctive style by immersing himself in various art techniques.

Relentless for escape, he travelled to Arles in southern France and has found new inspiration in the fresh landscape.

His mental health seemed to worsened during his stay as he suffered four mental breakdowns in Saint-Remy, experienced hallucinations and even poisoned himself by swallowing paint but that is when he did his most renowned masterpiece “Starry, Starry Night.”

On 27 July 1890, Van Gogh went painting on a field before shooting himself.

The bullet didn’t kill him but he died in his brother’s arms two days later due to the injury.

Van Gogh may have lived a short and miserable life but the endless exhibitions of his artworks are proof that he succeeded on what he truly yearned for — to leave a legacy.

His artworks come to life at Van Gogh Alive, the first multi-sensory exhibit featuring his masterpieces at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig from 26 October to 8 December.

Photos by David John Cubangbang

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