Walter DeForest was born with a hole in his heart the same day that Van Gogh was buried with a bullet in his chest. The actor from New York, who for years has inhabited the character of the great painter on stage and off, shares many facets of his life with the artist in a documentary.
Walter DeForest becomes Vincent Van Gogh during his show Van Gogh Find Yourself. The story he develops is based on the letters between Vincent and his brother Theo, and the Memoirs of Vincent’s stay in Auvers-sur-Oise by Adeline Ravoux. In his performance, the actor reveals unknown facets of the genius while painting and encouraging the public to paint during the show, which has been performed in several cities around the world.
Since he started his characterization as Van Gogh, Walter has begun to paint again. Although his style does not resemble the genius of the Starry Night, DeForest has repeatedly beaten the Guinness Record for the largest number of portraits painted in 12 hours. Every August 10th, commemorating his mother’s birthday, the actor performs this feat on the Royal Mile of the Scottish capital, which in 2018 was estimated at 166 portraits. The money raised goes to the charity Support in Mind Scotland.
The documentary Van Gogh Find Yourself, produced by Cultura Conectada, follows the contemporary Vincent for a day in the madness of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We attend one of his intimate and unpredictable shows, and we accompany him on one of his days painting portraits on the streets of the Scottish capital.
Walter encourages us not to judge each other too quickly, to focus on what we do more than what we say, and to consider love the real strength. After all, to take the time to understand another person -such as Vincent or Walter- is also a way to discover ourselves.