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Metamorphosis is the fourth design from the We are Animals I series, a series of pieces portraying great minds wronged by humanity’s thoughts. This piece shows Vincent van Gogh, the famous Post-Impressionist painter. Even today, some people are still not too familiar with the details about Vincent, mainly that he was never recognized in life for his genius. He was commercially unsuccessful during his lifetime, and he was considered a madman and a failure.

In short, we can say that Vincent was ahead of his time even in his mental conditions since today we face more and more problems with depression, anxiety, and other diseases considered the diseases of modernity. It was also typical that he would often neglect his physical health, eat properly, and drink heavily.

He started painting later in his life, when he had 27 or 28 years, after failing at multiple other jobs. Then, after a tormented life that led to isolation, he died virtually anonymously by shooting himself in the chest. There was still an attempt to help him, but he could not resist the wounds.

Perhaps we only know of his life because of the roughly 750 letters he wrote to his brother Theo, with whom he had a gigantic connection, and because of his sister-in-law, Jo van Gogh-Bonger, who did everything she could to promote his work after his death.

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

— Vincent van Gogh – Letter to Theo van Gogh (28 October 1883)

Van Gogh’s life makes me think about the place of art today. How many people, how many great artists are creating unique concepts but are still, and will always be, unknown, lost in some social media, ignored by the algorithms and by the galleries. We are constantly trying to make something meaningful in our modern world, with our work lost in the middle of tons of artificial content. Van Gogh was ignored and underestimated by the galleries and artists of his time. It seems to be the fate for most artists even today in this era of communication filled with plastic information.

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