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Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum
Courtesy of the Pokémon Company

Pokémon, Gogh! A new art collab combines painting and Pikachu

Van Gogh... I choose you?

Like any purveyor of fine art, you too will have likely wondered whether Vincent Van Gogh, were he alive today, would be into Pokémon. Well, now that eternal question has an answer: the Pokémon Company has announced a new collaboration running at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

The partnership was announced via a cryptic video shared on social media, accompanied by the date 28 September 2023. In the clip, two Pokémon, Pikachu and Eevee, can be seen running a field of sunflowers in an idyllic countryside setting that bears a resemblance to Van Gogh's 1886 painting “View of Montmartre with Windmills”.

When a drop of water lands on Pikachu’s head, the two creatures stop and look up, only for the sky to transform into a painting featuring thick impasto brush strokes very similar to Van Gogh’s style. Soon the screen is filled with dozens of Sunflora Pokémon, before the video ends with a shot of a painting of Sunflora in the style of Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers”.

Haters, of course, will say this doesn’t confirm van Gogh’s status as a Pokéfan. But who listens to haters? Certainly not the fine folks at the Van Gogh Museum.

In fact, the Pokémon Company has previous form when it comes to infiltrating the art world. Earlier this summer the exhibition POKÉMON X KOGEI: Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft  launched at Japan House in Los Angeles.

“Supervised by the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, with special support from The Pokémon Company, the exhibition features over 70 works of varying materials and diverse techniques created by twenty of Japan’s most accomplished craft artists, ranging from a Living National Treasure, the metal artist Morihito Katsura (b.1944), to exciting young artists like Taiichiro Yoshida (b.1989), also a metal artist,” Japan House said in a statement.

“The artists were challenged with the task of using their skills and ever-evolving techniques – in lacquer, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and other media – to creatively channel the world of the globally popular Pokémon brand.” 

Still, the exact nature of the  collaboration between Pokémon and the Van Gogh Museum remains to be seen. What we do know is that, somewhere in the starry night sky, Vincent van Gogh is accepting the title of Pokémon master.

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