Painter And Composer

At Bahnhofstrasse 20 in Meiderich, a private van Gogh museum was opened by the painter and composer Wolfgang Müller. In his studio in the heart of the Ruhr region he displays all his variations and interpretations of van Gogh’s works which he has created in recent years. With over 600 paintings and hundreds of more drawings, this is probably the world’s largest private collection of van Gogh interpretations. Over the past 14 years. The German TV programme “Lokalzeit”, broadcast by the WDR Duisburg, has dedicated the following reports to the artist Wolfgang Müller and his life’s work van Gogh.

About Wolfgang Müller: There is a fine line between genius and insanity, and this is nowhere more evident as in art. This goes for the Duisburg artist W.M., too. Born on 08.04.1968 in Duisburg, he grew up with seven siblings in a poor family in DU-Marxloh, his life revolving around art. It started with music. W.M. discovered his affinity towards it very early. He created his first instruments himself and played the first notes. His first “real” own instrument was an accordion. Without any musical training at all he managed to play bass and keyboards in correct harmony, performing his initial pieces of music. As a teenager he played for hours on the piano in the youth centre, teaching himself the basics at it. Since first earning his own money, he kept buying new instruments, thrilled. Although coming from a poor family and having to work from early on as a labourer, he decided to get a degree, completing the German “Fachoberschulreife” equvilent to an A-Level, after completing his alternative service at the age of 20. The music never went out of his head so that he again focused on it, setting himself the target to isolate himself so long from society until he was satisfied with his performance. This meant for him to retire within a bunker with only a mattress and a piano, and he dedicated himself to making music there for the next two years of his life. Through brief public performances he gained money to live on. He played at exhibitions, theatres , hotels, and any place that kept a piano. After a short stay in Poland ( Wroclaw ), he came to Weimar and was introduced to the Franz Liszt Academy and Professor Wolchina. The latter recognised his talent but since there was no way for Wolfgang Müller to receive a scholarship , Professor Wochina agreed to give him private lessons in composition. After two successful years of study, Wolfgang Müller returned to Dinslaken. To date, Müller has composed about 400 works.

But Wolfgang Müller was not satisfied with that. Whilst doing an internship in the gallery of the artist Pino Juliano in Dinslaken on the Lower Rhine, he developed the fascination for images and colours. Pino Juliano showed him the first steps in painting, and gave him the opportunity to study various artists. The works and life of van Gogh fascinated him the most, the works being for him motifs of “real life” that inspired and touched him. He feels connected with van Gogh, ” his brother in spirit”, and set out to interpret these works. In his 16m ² apartment, he began to study the technique and colour theory of van Gogh, not in order to copy, but rather with the aim of understanding van Gogh, leaving his own handwriting in each painting. Over time, the desire evolved to collect all 873 motifs of van Gogh in one place and make them accessible for the public, as van Gogh would have liked with his works. Up to this day, he has interpreted far more than half of the 873 images. The original works of van Gogh are scattered throughout the world , were partly destroyed, and having partially disappeared. In order to see the 600 works that are still available to the public , one would have to travel to 27 countries on 5 continents, and visit more than 100 museums. Wolfgang Müller wants to bring Vincent van Gogh and his paintings to the people to let them experience and share his enthusiasm for art. He is not aiming primarily at the traditional visitor of museums and art exhibitions, but would like to take the art not to a few but to many, reaching the ordinary people where one would encounter them in everyday life. Therefore, his exhibitions take place in shopping centres and other highly frequented locations. The images are not sold. However, each already created work of the 873 oil paintings, can be borrowed for a specified period of time. Wolfgang Müller offers watercolors and drawings created in van Gogh’s tradition, for sale, which does not include the complete works of 873 oil paintings. These he has partially painted in oil and gave them their own interpretations.

Pino Juliano