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Before his posthumous fame, Van Gogh was only able to sell one painting while he was alive. This was one out of over 900 works. Now more than a century later, sneaker giant and skater brand Vans has teamed up with the Van Gogh Museum to celebrate the Dutch artist’s legacy in what is perhaps the ultimate stamp of validation in present day: wearable art.
Spanning sneakers, t-shirts and caps, these literal masterpieces contain a sk8r boi edge so absent from the world of auction houses, retrospectives and art history textbooks. While there is a playful overlap between the name of the artist and the footwear brand, it is Van Gogh’s oil painting on the footwear brand’s classic canvas uppers that highlight the cohesiveness of this collaboration. Part of this larger collection is the low-cut Vans Authentic model that acts as a platform for Sunflowers, the still-life painting that dates back to the 1880s.
From his Vincent-inscribed vase, to the fifteen colorful flowers blossoming from its opening, all of its original details can be seen in full force on this wearable masterpiece. Additionally, the logo for the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam can be seen stamped on the custom insoles.
For this collaboration, Vans worked closely with the Van Gogh Museum team to select Skull, Almond Blossom, Sunflowers, and Van Gogh’s self-portrait as the inspirations for this extensive collection. Additionally, the Old Vineyard with Peasant Woman is seen on a special edition Old Skool and a Classic Slip-On that features excerpts from handwritten letters from Vincent to his brother, Theo.
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