Van Gogh Ltd.; The Bizarre Tale Of Clones, Factories, Replica Paintings & Ear DNA in Liverpool

Updated: May 8, 2021

A Rather Unusual Story Told On The Side Of A Building In Ropewalks

Van Gogh Ltd. Street Art by Lu Pingyuan on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel in Duke Street, Liverpool City Centre (Credit: The Liverpudlian/Peter Eric Lang).
Van Gogh Ltd. Street Art by Lu Pingyuan on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel in Duke Street, Liverpool City Centre (Credit: The Liverpudlian/Peter Eric Lang).

In Ropewalks you may come across a mural on the side of a building with a tale of a company called 'Van Gogh Ltd.' This extraordinary and utterly bizarre story will have you reading with absolutely no guess as to what the next line could be about.


The mural that can be found on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel, Duke Street in Ropewalks says:


'Van Gogh's other ear was discovered by scientists. A technology company acquired the ear, and opened a factory called Van Gogh Ltd., which extracted the DNA from Van Gogh's ear to make countless Van Gogh clones.


The Van Gogh clones became the factories main workers. From the time they were small, each clone was forced to learn how to paint Van Gogh-style copies of Starry Night, Sunflowers, The Night Cafe in the Place Lamartine in Arles, and other famous works.


The gifted 'Van Goghs' were held in captivity by the factory and raised to mass-produce these masterpieces; the ones without talent were gathered together and pushed into a big furnace, to be burned into a special kind of yellow pigment that was used as raw material for the ongoing process.'


A close up of Van Gogh Ltd. Street Art by Lu Pingyuan as part of Liverpool Biennial 2016. Located on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel in Duke Street, Liverpool City Centre (Credit: The Liverpudlian/Peter Eric Lang).
A close up of Van Gogh Ltd. Street Art by Lu Pingyuan as part of Liverpool Biennial 2016. Located on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel in Duke Street, Liverpool City Centre (Credit: The Liverpudlian/Peter Eric Lang).

The piece was created by artist Lu Pingyuan in 2016 as part of the Liverpool Biennial, the UK's largest festival of contemporary visual art that takes place across the Liverpool City Region every two years.


Liverpool Biennial provided information about the piece on their website:


Van Gogh Ltd, 2016

Text painted on the side of a building wall

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester

Exhibited on EPIC Hotel


Lu Pingyuan produced four pieces in total for Liverpool Biennial in 2016, Van Gogh Ltd. being one of the four pieces of contemporary art.

Van Gogh Ltd. Street Art by Lu Pingyuan on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel in Duke Street, Liverpool City Centre (Credit: Peter Eric Lang).
Van Gogh Ltd. Street Art by Lu Pingyuan on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel in Duke Street, Liverpool City Centre (Credit: Peter Eric Lang).

The piece can be found on the side of EPIC Apart Hotel on Duke Street in Ropewalks, not far from the Liverpool ONE Shopping District.


Photographs by Peter Eric Lang:

EPIC Apart Hotel, Duke Street,

Ropewalks,

Liverpool City Centre,

City of Liverpool,

Liverpool City Region, UK.