At the age of 52, "VW" had a sudden desire to quit work as lawyer and start painting. He previously hadn't been interested in art. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic later sclerosis (ALS). Above left is an artwork he painted just before he was diagnosed. Above right is a piece VW made a few years later, just before he died. From New Scientist:
"…Degeneration in a brain area responsible for controlling impulses might explain his creative urge, says Anli Liu, a neurologist and artist who recently authored a case report on VW. At the same time, symptoms of ALS limited VW's motor control and, eventually, his ability to create art."