Like many creatives, cartoonist and illustrator Alireza Karimi Moghaddam fell in love with Vincent van Gogh’s work and was compelled by his story. Moghaddam was a teenager when he first began admiring the artist’s style and vibrant colors. Immersing himself in Van Gogh’s history, Moghaddam learned—and continues to learn—about the iconic figure and has created an entire body of work inspired by his life.
Moghaddam has been producing illustrations of Van Gogh for years. As the series lives on, his work continues to evolve. His latest pieces showcase the heavy swirling brushstrokes for which the painter is well known, but the content has Moghaddam venturing into the fantastical. Van Gogh is seen interacting with the likes of Frida Kahlo, and he is introduced to contemporary technology and airplane travel. The modern luxuries, especially, are well beyond Van Gogh’s time; he died by suicide in 1890.
Being historically accurate is not the primary goal of Moghaddam’s work. It’s more about the feeling and the characteristics we can appreciate about the artist. “For me, Van Gogh is not only a famous artist and a genius but a way of life,” he says. “He is not a frustrated and distressed model but a symbol of love, humanity, and altruism. I understand and propagate his creative ideas from a different perspective, and on the contrary to a prevailing traditional view, I would like a different Van Gogh to be a Van Gogh for everyone.”