The Van Gogh Museum overwhelmed by the success of its partnership with Pokémon

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Amsterdam museum is currently presenting a temporary exhibition until January 7 of six paintings inspired by the combined world of Van Gogh and Pokémon cards. The course includes a treasure hunt for children aged six. Intended by the museum’s management to generate renewed interest in the 19th century painter, the marketing operation was very successful.

Too great a success, as evidenced by the images relayed on social networks by visitors filming the crowd movements. A “absolute chaos” according to Internet users. The fault lies with a limited edition card offered free of charge upon registration only, representing a Pikachu in a Van Gogh aesthetic, the “Pika-Portrait”. A precious card that visitors rushed to obtain. The painting is a pastiche of Self-portrait with gray felt hat (1887), the Japanese mascot taking the place of the artist.

Once the stars of playgrounds, these cards are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity and can be sold very expensively on the Internet. Those of the Van Gogh edition, quickly out of stock, were soon put online at 250 dollars (239 euros) for some. A very lucrative market for some who come there for this sole purpose. A behavior deplored by the museum as well as the Pokémon community on the web. The brand’s official stores are thus facing a demand “massive” from the fans. The museum, for its part, has promised to put the cards online very soon, limiting sales to one purchase per person.

The initiative was based on the intention of making the painter and his story known to a young or unfamiliar audience. The director of the museum, Emilie Gordenker, said she hoped that this would have the merit of “know the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh in a new way” among the new generation. Which produced unusual paintings created by the Pokémon Company: we sometimes see a Heliatronc hidden in an interpretation of the Sunflowers (1889), or a Snorlax in Bedroom by Van Gogh in Arles (1889).

Pokémon & Van Gogh Museum – September 29, 2023

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