Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate

We spoke to Pauly the Painter about his masterpiece up for grabs in competition with Van Gogh Alive

You may have seen Pauly the Painter on Hove seafront or in the hustle and bustle of the lanes. He always has an easel on the go and paintbrush in hand. The latest adventure for this beloved local artist is a collaboration with legendary Vincent Van Gogh. 

To mark the 170th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s birth, along with the upcoming Van Gogh Alive immersive exhibition to be held at Brighton Dome, local artist Pauly the Painter has created a never before seen artwork. It features some of Brighton’s best landmarks in the style of ‘Starry Night’. The unique piece is up for grabs alongside the chance to have a VIP private exhibition experience as part of a competition by Van Gogh Alive. We spoke to Pauly the Painter about creating the piece and his inspirations. Plus, what he is looking forward to about the VGA immersive exhibition. 

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate

You have painted a gorgeous piece of artwork of Brighton landmarks in the style of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. How did creating the masterpiece come about? 

The Van Gogh inspired artwork is essentially a combination of features that are Brighton. The nightlife, bold and brash, the architecture both traditional and contemporary (in the form of the pavilion, the pier and the i360 as well as our shingle beach and sea.) I combined these with elements of Vincent’s artwork. The Starry Night, the sunflowers, the helter skelter (as one of his cypress trees) and crows converted to seagulls to produce a vision that would have him spinning in his grave.

Is Vincent Van Gogh an artist that you would say has inspired your artworks previously?

As a very old and antiquated artist, I have many influences on my art. I love the work of all artists and creatives whether they are famous or not. And I love the energy and passion of Vincent’s painting technique. I admire his obsessive urge to capture landscapes, objects and people that surrounded him and his use of texture and colour. 

You are often spotted around Brighton and Hove painting our vibrant streets. How did you decide that you wanted Brighton pier and the Pavillion to go into this specific painting?

Brighton pier and Brighton pavilion are two of the most visited and well loved landmarks of our city. They seemed to be appropriate to feature in the artwork. I am sure that  Vincent would have loved the music room with all its colour and dragons and lost a stack of 2p’s in the amusement arcade on the pier. 

You do a lot of your work plein air (outdoors) capturing moments as you see them as opposed to painting from a photograph. How do you think this changes the energy of your paintings? 

I paint on the streets of Brighton and Hove because I am a passionate creative and educationalist. The beauty of nature and our exquisite architecture inspires me. This, as well as sunlight and the wonderful people in our community. Painting allows me to communicate to people of all ages and backgrounds. I often extol the many virtues of creativity, the success of the Seagulls and I (obviously) love a good chat!

There is a very distinct impressionist style to the Van Gogh inspired painting. Is all of your artwork usually in this style?

I consider that many artists have inspired the style of my artwork. For example; Bellini, Raphael, Titian, Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat, Hopper and younger artists such as Brook, Roux, Sammy and Alex. 

The piece will be on display at Van Gogh Alive from May 12th. How does it feel to have your creation exhibited at such a renowned immersive experience? 

I am honoured to be a part of this wonderful project. I hope that it inspires and encourages people of our community to become involved in creativity. It’s great fun being energetic and getting mucky!

What are you most looking forward to seeing at Van Gogh Alive? 

I know that people who visit the experience will come out feeling energised and enlightened by Vincent’s artwork. 

Do you think you will be painting any more specific artist inspired work? What is the next adventure for Pauly the Painter?! 

As I mentioned in my earlier answer, my artwork is always inspired by the work of other artists. I do feel that this process of focusing on Vincent’s work has energised the way I work and inspired me to become more expressive and colourful with my own work. Next time I see him I’ll spoil him to a coffee and a fish finger ciabatta at the Big Beach Cafe!

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate. The artwork will be given away in a competition held by Van Gogh Alive.

To be in with the chance of winning this one-of-a-kind artwork alongside a VIP viewing experience with friends and family worth £900, register to the Van Gogh Alive newsletter via the Van Gogh Alive Brighton website before 17th July. The winner will be selected at random, from the emails collected through this competition. Those already registered to the Van Gogh Alive newsletter audience, who will be automatically entered into the draw.

To find out more about the exhibition, to purchase tickets, register for the Van Gogh Alive newsletter and enter the competition please visit the website:

Van Gogh Alive opens at Brighton Dome on Sat 12 May

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