Woman Dresses Up As Vandalized Van Gogh Painting for Halloween

Halloween may be over, but we can still appreciate some of 2022's unique costume ideas. While classics like witches and zombies never get old, it's always fun to see people create something relevant to current events. One of the most notable examples from this year is inspired by the recent UK protests by Just Stop Oil, and the incident where two individuals threw tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh‘s masterpiece, Sunflowers, to raise awareness of the oil and cost of living crisis. A friend shared this woman's clever reenactment of the demonstration on Twitter and it has already garnered thousands of likes.

The wearer of the costume—who is kept anonymous with a black dot—wears a yellow t-shirt printed with Van Gogh's famous painting, and a headband that has an empty can and fake tomato soup puddle affixed to the top. Though minimalist in its execution, it captures the essence of the topic that grabbed news headlines around the world in a playful way. Many commenters praised the ingenuity of the idea and the fact that it is so topical.

Just Stop Oil's protests have become controversial for targeting precious works of art; but fortunately, the Sunflowers painting was protected by a plane of glass and unharmed by the demonstration. 20-year-old Phoebe Plummer was one of the climate activists involved in the viral stunt at the National Gallery and stands by these head-turning tactics. “Since October, we have been engaging in disruptive acts all around London because right now what is missing to make this change is political will,” they say. “So our action, in particular, was a media-grabbing action to get people talking, not just about what we did, but why we did it.” Additionally, the tomato soup can that was used to vandalize the painting was important to their message. “[It was] to draw attention to the cost of living crisis. In the UK, we are facing a horrendous cost of living crisis and it is part of the cost of oil crisis.”

Despite the seriousness of the message behind the real act, this creative costume manages to be lighthearted and artistic in its own right, all at once.

A woman dressed up as the vandalized Van Gogh painting for Halloween this year.

Van Gogh Sunflowers

Vincent van Gogh, “Sunflowers,” 1888 (Photo: National Gallery via Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

It was inspired by the recent Just Stop Oil events that are going on in the UK.

A group of protesters threw tomato soup on Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery in London to raise awareness of the oil and cost of living crisis.

h/t: [Neatorama, The Guardian, NPR]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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