Sunflower Boy – Tournesol Garçon

SunFlower Boy: a nickname I have been given by some lovely little boys who came to Walter The Wanderer Book reading and Coulour Along as part of the 2 shows I was performing in at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

I have had a “Sunflower” or as the say in France, “Tournesol” that I attached to my shoe and people / photographers could not get enough of it.

While attending the 50th Anniversary of the Photography Festival in Arles hundreds of people took pictures of my shoes, ha.

Les Rencontres d’Arles celebrates 50 years with 50 shows

Ahhh now that the Fringe is over ….  I am now getting ready to head back to NYC in a week. I am relaxing in Edinburgh and a seed has been planted… maybe the dream was planted 4 years ago…  now it’s peeking out and voicing … with a deep calmness and steady voice, ” Move to Edinburgh”.

Taken after the Dandy Darkly Show

Moving to Edinburgh is a new idea for me and quite exhilarating to think about and also terrifying in a sense as well.

Change is the only constant.

I have tried to live free and love fully in life. Traveling with friends and finding new ones, creating art alongside beautiful souls gathering together. I feel I am living Vincent Van Gogh’s dream of creating his Art Colony, the Studio of the South that he envisioned creating with Paul Gaugain and the help of Vincent’s Brother Theo.

I have traveled in the footsteps of Vincent, The Borinage in Belgium, Mons, the Marcasse mines where he suffered and preached and lived with the poor coal miners. Auvers-sur-Oise, in the fields where he suffered the deadly gunshot wound.
The bedroom where he died and spent his last breathe with his brother Theo. His Funeral was in this room as well as the church would not allow a “suicide” into the church.

The memories of the 79 day trip across the Uk and EU has deepened my understanding of myself, my art and my heArt.

My thoughts on Van Gogh Find Yourself #vgfy:

I let my work speak for itself. Maybe I should say, “our work”, as we create together during the performance, with “No Judgement”. The art is then gifted to each other spreading the memories for years to come regarding the story and love that shaped Vincent’s historical and monumental life. Vincent is loved. So, how to get to a place artistically that is not pretentious, didactic and fresh??? I have had to learn to let go and breathe, as I have had to learn in life as well. I am proud to say the reactions I get from my audiences help me deal with my mental health as well. The emotional confirmation that art is alive in us, love is alive, kindness is alive.

I cried when I read this following review and I am laughing while I type this as I realize it is a gift. You see I did not send out one press release as I get a bit in my head and overwhelmed with that type of thing. The posters and competition in Edinburgh is Immense… daunting, and I just wanted to perform the best and grow the show to where it can be universally adaptable to any museum, venue, restaurant, Kitchen table. I have stripped the show to the bare essentials and the review gets that and I feel  good about the fact that the reviewer was not even supposed to review my show, but fate was on my side.

thanks for reading and I will update with some more pics and a story of meeting my Love.

Walter and Vincent

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Van Gogh Find Yourself #vgfy

The script may meander and depend upon how he feels on that day but what is astonishing is the performance. It is exceptional. That degree of connection with a character is often rare and very often you feel the electricity when you are amongst it. There is a true artist here and it aint Van Gogh.

Review

The drawing collectively around his desk is to free us from the constraints around ourselves. Vincent channels the creativity in the room along with the inner peace and calm that he exudes as he starts the narrative. It could be a number of narratives because he has very rich material.

The script may meander and depend upon how he feels on that day but what is astonishing is the performance. It is exceptional. That degree of connection with a character is often rare and very often you feel the electricity when you are amongst it. There is a true artist here and it aint Van Gogh.

It’s astonishing and when DeForest drops the accent and speaks in his own natural accent I have to lift my jaw from the floor. He is utterly convincing. The hesitancy, the thinking on his feet, the naivete that he displays even when he talks of his own death as Van Gogh is awe inspiring.

The conceit of it being an adult art type class with an audience that has no artifice to struggle through, no props or hidden objects to wade past and no trickery to see past adds to that. We have no curtains, lights or props to enhance the raw performance. DeForest needs none of that because his knowledge of the subject and the way in which he channels that energy through his drawing and our attention is all the spark required.

When he finished his drawing and gave it to the man across from him you really felt that it was a privilege. The emotion that causes him to break down at the end is real. The emotion authentic and the love he feels for doing what he does, the cost to his pocket but the increasing humanity of himself is just beautiful to see and to be a part of.

He spoke of his attempt to break the world record of drawing portraits and it is another highlight of the afternoon. I happened upon this because of missing another piece of theatre and serendipity did me a favour today. I wish DeForest well in his attempt to break a record, but I hope he returns with this again, and again, and again. It is pure theatrical gold.

Published 

Show Website

#vgfy

 

Audience Reviews from Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

Anna Johnson

What a wonderful experience!

I went to see Vincent Van Gogh on Saturday 23rd August with my Mum.

We both came away feeling incredibly moved and inspired. Evident how much research went into the making of this show. And how much love. Easily one our favourite experiences of the Fringe.

If ever you find yourself looking for a truly immersive performance, we couldn’t recommend this one more.

Keep doing what you’re doing Walter, it’s wonderful!!!

Taylor Funnell

I have been talking to Walter for about 3 months now he is a wonderful human and his show is the best van Gogh show out there. I have been to the show 4 times this year and I just think its wonderful I like how you can make art while learning about Vincent’s life I definitely Recommend this show to everybody.

Chris Wilkins

Moving, sweet and memorable – the sort of left field experience that perhaps is only possible in Edinburgh. I’d highly recommend a visit to this uniquely intimate event. Thank you, Walter, for sharing your passion and insights into an artist we all think we know – but was actually much more complex than the familiar caricature.

Dana Serfaty

Watched #vgfy on my last day in Edinburgh and loved it so much, wished I could watch it again.
Special and unique piece, sensitive and beautiful performance

Niall

A really enjoyable, arty and informative hour spent in wonderful company. Vincent (or Walter) is very entertaining and his show is a hidden gem. Can’t recommend it highly enough. Go for the art and stay for the entertainment!

Aunt Ellie

Vincent was alive in Walter. The artist that inspires us all so much met his match in the equally inspirational artist, Walter Deforest. Incredibly moving and informative, and great fun too, unleashing you’re inner artist. If you see any free show at the Fringe PLEASE make it this one, it’s what Vincent would have wanted.

Daniel Perez

☆☆☆☆ A Hidden Gem
What a delightful surprise this show was. Intimate both in its staging and delivery, the audience sit at a small painting workshop along with Vincent (Walter DeForest), as he beautifully narrates his life story. DeForest brings a casual passion to the character, always real but never overwhelmingly so, a perfect balance to sway his (sadly sparse) audience and take them for a ride down memory lane. In a quieter venue and with a more welcoming stage, this show would be an absolute hit. Totally recommended!

Chris Davis

You will be so happy you came upon this show! The performer really embodies the spirit of Van Gogh, you learn a lot about his life, AND you even may pick up some artistic ability too. The performer Walter really throws himself into the role and disappears, at times I felt like I really was listening to Van Gogh. He makes many salient points about how we treat artists today, and how we treat art in general. A beautiful show, highly recommend it, for ALL ages.

David

A brilliant show on the 4th. An excellent & natural performance. Combining a little art therapy with an entertaining delivery, I recommend this show unreservedly.

79-day Tour following Vincent to Edinburgh

Here is a quick rundown of the trip as it stands now  … More to be revealed on June 4th.
19 days until Liftoff …
JUNE 23 I am leaving on a 79 day Journey through France
  1. First Stop, London: I am sure there is a kickoff event in London but my pals are taking care of that. Then we are driving a car painted with sunflowers to Arles, in the south of France for the Photography Festival:

    EXHIBITIONS : 01 JULY -> 22 SEPTEMBER

    OPENING WEEK : 01 -> 07 JULY

  2. 2nd stop along the way may be Auvers-sur-Oise(Hotel where Vincent died), 
  3. Giverny(Monet lived)
  4. St.Remy, the Assylem
  5. Arles The Yellow House June 31-July 10 (Largest Photography Exhibition in the world)
  6. Nancy, in the Leon region I hope to meet the famous sculptour Remus Botar Botarro who is called the next Brancusi. Remus called me on the phone 2 weeks ago while I was working at Ryans Daughter. Remus said that he has a place for me and my work in his museums in London and Paris. We met by chance in 2016. I believe the reason he offered me this chance of a lifetime was because of our short conversation on the street of Edinburgh, I did not know who he was, he asked me if I copy Van Gogh’s Style? My response was, I have no idea what happens when the pen is put to the paper, the creative process is something magical and if anyone tells you they know what it is they are lying …. he left and came back in 45 minutes … introduced himself, gave me his card and then offered me the chance Van Gogh Never got, a space to show his work. (I cried, sweetly)
  7. next is Mons Belgium for July 27 event
  8. Edinburgh July 31- Aug 28 100 shows in 25 days.
  9. Walter The Wanderer is 25 performances of the 100  I’ll be doing a colour along and also (Relaxed Performances) for children and adults on the spectrum
  10. Morecambe, Vintage Fest Aug 31
  11. Flight Sept 11 London to NYC

April Update 2019 NYC

Hello, I was responding to a request for information for an upcoming live drawing event. I wanted to pass this along to internet travelers. Cheers, Walter and Vincent

Walter is a NYC based artist currently traveling the world with his one-man show about Vincent Van Gogh. Walter draws live performances around NYC and in the Festival and also draws live while he is performing his show.

In NYC You can find him performing the Van Gogh Experience at The Met and The MoMa. Walter has received 50 – 5 Star Reviews for his NYC Museum Experiences in his 1st year.
Next up, May-August:
Philadelphia, Cincinnati, London, Paris, Auvers-Sur-Oise, Arles, and Edinburgh.
 Picture taken in Morecambe, UK of a fan
 wearing my BeSpoke Leather Jacket
 In June Walter is traveling with the artist @MorganIco. to Arles, France via London in an #art Vehicle painted by @MorganIco.
Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 2.37.24 PM.png
And off to Edinburgh again for the 4th and final Edinburgh Festival Fringe where he will be performing 2 shows a day as part of The PBH Free Fringe. Van Gogh Find Yourself and Walter The Wanderer.
To make the most of the Edinburgh Festival, Walter has created a few Air BnB Experiences where you can Live With Van Gogh at The Fringe,  as well as have Dinner With Van Gogh and Friends and you can also Van Gogh Find Yourself & Impressionism at The museum in Edinburgh.
For the 4th Year while in Edinburgh, on August 10th his late Mum’s Birthday,  Walter will attempt to break the world record for Most Portraits in 12 Hours to raise awareness for Mental Health and the charity Support In Mind Scotland.
Walter’s home base is the Iconic Irish Pub Ryan’s Daughter in Yorkville on the U.E.S.
You can find him upstairs curating festivals and art shows, or he will draw you a live portrait.
https://ryansdaughter.nyc

#VGFY UKEU Update March 2019

A lot has happened in the last 3 weeks and I am now looking at my last week in London and the UK. Here is a #runDown and a #runUp of things that came and things that are to be #VGFY #GetDrawnIn.

  1. March 1st – 6 performances of 15 shows in 2 Days  for The 3rd Annual Unofficial Upper East Side EdFest
  2. March  2nd 9 performances of the 15 shows in 2 Days for The 3rd Annual Unofficial Upper East Side EdFest
  3. March 3 Flight to London
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  4. March 5-10  Fly to Arles 
  5. March 9 Arles Sculpture unveiling of Anthony Padgett’s bust of Van Gogh
  6. I met the Author of Van Gogh’s Ear Bernadette Murphy and we rode to see some Almond trees in Bloom
  7. March 9 Documentary Premier release of Van Gogh Find Yourself by Jordi Busquets
  8. March 10 Make the Sunday Newspaper in Arles – 2 articles
  9. March 10 Fly to London for SOLD OUT @Draper Hall 
  10. March 11 Morecambe trip with Walter The Wanderer
  11. March 12 School Shows 20 Min.
  12. March 12 School Shows 30 Min.
  13. March 12 School Shows 30 Min.
  14. March 14 BBC Lancashire interview and Portrait drawing at The Re Store.
  15. March 14 Walter The Wanderer children’s book reading
  16. March 14 Westend Impact VGFY show.
  17. March 14 SOLD OUT VGFY at Alt Space
  18.  March 19th Life Drawing Amsterdam
  19. Amsterdam
  20. March 26 London
  21. March 29-30 USA, Cincinnati (Collaboration)
  22. March 29 London:  filming a Documentary and Fundraiser
    • We will be at the house of an artist friend … a Documentary on the eviction of himself and other artists by The Lambeth Council. The artist ironically sad but actually has a photo of his work ion the Lamp Posts in a neighboring council.
  23. March 30 at 7 am BBC RADIO David & Carrie Grant  Click to Listen 3 tickets will be given away on the air for March 31 #vgfy  performance portrait and Exhibition
  24. March 30 @ 3:33pm Walk over to Van Gogh Walk to Beat Van Gogh In BasketBall win 3 tix to #VGFY Show, a portrait and the EY Exhibit on March 31
  25. March 30 Paint Jam London Secret space revealed 48 hours before event.
  26. March 31st London    Tate Britain
    • Van Gogh Find Yourself at the Tate EY Exhibit
    • I have purchased 8 tix and I have 6 tickets left available for admission. The cost to Monsieur Van Gogh was £22.00 for each ticket.
    • Do you think I can give a few away on Air?https://www.facebook.com/events/347805582496677/
  27. April 2 London Pay What You Want
  28. April 2 London Pay What You Want April 2
  29.  April 3 –  London April 3 -4
  30. APRIL 4th  JOKEOKE

Update: London 2018 #EdFringe Previews and dreams becoming reality

VGFY Spirit of The Fringe
Winner Spirit of The Fringe Cincy Fringe 2018

Van Gogh Find Yourself Cincy Fringe Photos.  *Winner “Spirit of The Fringe      Van Gogh Find Yourself  Orlando Fringe Photos Winner Marketing Award .    Van Gogh Find Yourself Orlando Reviews   May/June 2018

22/7/2018 London: I landed at Heathrow early on Monday, went to Slough and had a nice breakfast with Gerard and his Mum. It is nice to be picked up from the airport by a friendly face, Gerard. I met Gerard at the Orlando International Fringe in May. Fringe friends. I cant say more. Amazing.

In London I am an Artist in Residence at Cafe Van Gogh in Brixton. I sketch when I stop in, have a meal and I feel at home.

Dan and Venus 24-7-18 @CafeVanGoghBrixton

Van Gogh Walk is around the corner as well as The Van Gogh House on 87 Hackford Rd.
https://www.instagram.com/vangoghlondon/

I rode by on my bike and the house is under renovation.  My tire suddenly went flat so I had to stay a bit anyway.

This is a Historic Site.

‘VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1853 – 1890, Painter, lived here 1873 – 1874’

The people involved in the renovations are TOPS. Connor from Cork (another Ginger), chatted with me,  we took a selfie and then he said that Livia was stopping by in a minute.

Livia Wang

Livia is the architect and she showed me the inside of the house. The Garden is gutted and the house still has support beams holding up the ceiling on each floor of the house. Wallpaper is peeled, old newspapers from the 1950’s are strewn about and I could see the view from the window and imagine Vincent peacefully gazing out the window. Climbing the steps and then of course asking the landlady’s daughter for her hand in marriage, but alas, Vincent was too late as someone had beat him to the proposal.

The renovations will bring about an artist residency. Surreal to say the least and also effortless in a way. Timing is everything.

On Wednesday I went to see Bat Outa Hell and Meatloaf was in the audience. Peter Michael Marino just landed and my friends in London, James and Diana had an extra ticket for Peter. YAY.

Diana just hot a wonderful note in her photography as she released never before seen photos of Amy Winehouse.

THE INDEPENDENT
My day with Amy Winehouse: Never-before-seen photos of the late singer

In 2004, photographer Diane Patrice visited a flat in Camden to document ‘a day in the life’ of the singer-songwriter behind one of the most recognisable voices in British music

Diane is such a nice person as well. I am so happy for her. I remember the year before we all celebrated my birthday and I never felt alone in a distant city.

After the show Bat Outa Hell, I picked up my bike at the Brixton Bicycle

 I then went to draw at the Cafe and met some more amazing people. Will was doing a show at 9pm at Cafe Van Gogh.

He is a master and also a trooper. It was a bit Hot Hot Hot upstairs. Great times and good laughs.

Today I am posting this UPDATE and performing in Peter’s ALL-STAR READING of Desperately Seeking The Exit.

Is this real? Pinch me please. I am looking to come back in March for the opening of the Tate Museum’sVan Gogh Exhibition, The renovations are also planning to be done, fingers crossed, to coincide with the Tate’s Van Gogh Exhibition opening.

https://www.tate.org.uk/press/press-releases/tate-britain-announces-major-van-gogh-exhibition-2019

 

Tuesday’s Link for tickets:

31-7-18 #VGFY in London

2pm + 4pm +  (6p+8p Shows SOLD OUT )

standing room only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up 1-August Edinburgh arrival from London on the train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van Gogh Find Yourself @ The Met

Van Gogh Find Yourself @ The MET

Have you always wanted to meet a famous artist? Now you can. I will portray Vincent Van Gogh and guide you through the Metropolitan Museum of Art to talk about my paintings displayed inside. As Vincent, I will talk about certain aspects of each of my paintings in the museum, and we may see some of my friends’ artwork in the Met as well. After about an hour in the museum, we will have lunch or a snack. At this time I will draw your portrait.

History experience
Hosted by Walter
The host of this experience
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2 hours total
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1 ticket
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Offered in English
About your host, Walter
I am an NYC-based performer and artist known as #vgfy. In February, 2018, I play the Philadelphia Barnes Museum, and return to NYC immediately for the Unofficial Upper East Side EdFest @ Ryan’s Daughter on the Upper East Side. In May, I will perform at The Orlando Art Museum as part of the Orlando International Fringe Festival, then it’s off to the Cincy Fringe, NYC, London, Edinburgh, and Morecambe Fringe. Returning to NYC for 2 shows Sept 19 and 26, 2018.

 

 

 

2nd “Unofficial Upper East Side EdFest”

Quick Dish NY: The Second “Unofficial Upper East Side EdFest” February 24 & 25 at Ryan’s Daughter

Quick Dish NY: The Second “Unofficial Upper East Side EdFest” February 24 & 25 at Ryan’s Daughter

Always wanted to go to Edinburgh Fringe but were deathly afraid of the TSA? No worries! You can enjoy twelve diverse shows that rocked the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the second Unofficial Upper East Side EdFestFebruary 24th and 25th Peter Michael MarinoHarmon Leon, and Walter Michael DeForestpresent a unique theatrical experience, taking over the intimate second floor of the historic Ryan’s Daughter in NYC for 2 glorious days. Enjoy everything from solo comedies to fake tribute bands offering up encore performances of shows that played in 2017 at the acclaimed world’s largest arts festival. But that’s not all! You can also enjoy revivals of shows from 2012-2016, and previews of new shows headed to Edinburgh in 2018. Woohoo! Just some of the shows you’ll be privileged to attend include Paul Valenti’s “The Long Miserable Journey to Happiness,” Chris Davis’ “Drunk Lion,” Adam & Jenny’s “Pop Filter,” an All Star Reading of Peter Michael Marino’s “Desperately Seeking the Exit,” Walter Michael DeForest’s “Van Gogh Brunch Yourself,” Christine Holt’s“Domesticated,” Katie Kopajtic’s “Confessions of a Personal Trainer,” and so many more! Don’t miss out!

Mentions: February 24 & 25 from 1:00 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. $10 for each show. $35 Festival Pass.
Ryan’s Daughter is located at 350 E 85th St, NYC 10028 (Q Train at 86 Street). Beer specials courtesy of Coney Island Brewery. Brunch catering courtesy NYC’s go-to for authentic German meat and sausages Schaller & Webber Catering.

 

5 Things I learned at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

I knew that I was going to the largest arts festival in the world and needed guidance. I read and listened to Podcasts about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe … and then the Angels helped me … I took a Boost Camp with Peter Michael Marino to learn everything you need to know about going to EdFringe.

Through Peter Michael Marino’s Boost Camp: