After a year-and-a-half of everything digital and events at home, we are so ready to get back into the world and see/experience all of the things. So I was thrilled when I had the chance to kick this off during a preview of the much buzzed about “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit New York” featuring the digital art of Van Gogh seen on 500,000+ cubic feet of projections, 60,600 frames of video, and 90,000,000 pixels.
An art show meets theatrical experience, the exhibit is a massive foray back to in-person events where guests can literally “step inside” and experience the iconic works of Van Gogh for a high-energy, full body explosion of sound, light, music, movement, and imagination of his art in a new, wild form.
Held at New York’s Pier 36, the experience started in the lobby where a larger-than-life digital portrait of Van Gogh and deep blue and yellow sunflowers are emblazoned throughout the space.
This followed with a walk-through where visitors can learn more about the life of Van Gogh, which I found super helpful with facts about his life (died at 37, started painting at 26 and his relationship with his brother who encouraged him to paint – wow!).
This leads to the main rooms (revealed under a curtain) where you’ll instantly be immersed in the experience with floor-to-ceilings screens and projections of Van Gogh’s iconic work with the backdrop of mood-setting music (think experimental electronic music with pure, ethereal and melodic orchestral pieces) — both original and curated.
Walking through the space, you’ll instantly be “immersed” in the experience with music, colors, and art that constantly changes and can be viewed at every angle.
Creator Massimiliano Siccardi, with original, mood-setting music, both original and curated, by Italian multimedia Composer Luca Longobardi, who provided a score that combines experimental electronic music with pure, ethereal and melodic orchestral pieces. Vittorio Guidotti is the Art Director. Renowned Creative Director David Korins (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen) has created a custom design to fit the architecture of the exhibition’s New York home, adding new elements for the New York debut.
Some highlights include:
- The Sunflower Wall that creates the feeling of outside, inside. Viewers get the chance to interact with a textured wall of bright colors and fun, meant to evoke the familiar feeling that one is standing in a field of sunflowers.
▪ The Ceiling, which is inspired by Van Gogh’s masterpiece The Starry Night, was created using over 7,800 individually hung paintbrushes dipped in multiple colors.
▪ An oversized reproduction of a self-portrait of Van Gogh, which allows people to not only appreciate the intimacy and nuances of the work (and get a chance to look deeper into his eyes and heart), but to also give a greater understanding of his exquisite individual brushstrokes and muscularly specific way of painting.
▪ The Chromesthesia Experience, which invites audiences to walk through 10 booths
based on the colors most often used in his paintings. While inside the booths, the audience will be immersed in a light and sound experience based on documented research of watching people with chromesthesia react to certain colors. It is generally accepted that Vincent van Gogh had a special form of synesthesia called chromesthesia in which he was able to hear color and see sound.
▪ Letters from Vincent is an activation based on an artificial intelligence program created from the digital scans of over 1,000 letters Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. The booth allows guests to ask Vincent a question and have him respond with a one-of-a-kind customized letter directly addressed to the individual. This was developed in collaboration with Technology, Humans And Taste [THAT], a creative and innovation shop based in New York City, which designs concepts, campaigns and products.
▪ The Pocket Gallery, where paint leaves the canvas and immerses participants in Van Gogh’s creative process through a surreal augmented reality experience.
▪ Within the exhibit, Korins will add tiered observation platforms, intricate mirrored sculptures and “secret” spaces for guests to discover as they observe the program. These elements were also developed in collaboration with THAT.
With COVID, the exhibit does have several safety measures in place, including the wearing of masks, social distancing circles where visitors can sit and watch, hand sanitizer throughout the space and reduced capacity. You can check out even more about that here.
Filled with “wow” moments, you’ll leave impressed by the vision and energy of the exhibit and new somewhat chaotic way to appreciate Van Gogh’s art.
Tickets and Venue Information
Get your tickets at vangoghnyc.com and by phone at 844-307-4644. Tickets range in price from $29.99 for kids to $99.99 for VIP Flex tickets, which comes with priority access, flexible admission, a limited-edition poster, a souvenir laminate and a Van Gogh cushion. Basic timed tickets are $49.99.