You saw the image online. People wandering in a huge room surrounded by swirling floor-to-ceiling projections of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. There are sunflowers. And the night sky filled with spiral clouds. An impossibly lush forest of trees. And the calm purple of the room, the bedroom in Arles, the rough bed frame and the plastered walls.
It’s like looking at the world through Van Gogh’s eyes. And, of course, that’s the point of Van Gogh. An immersive experience scheduled to open somewhere in Cincinnati on June 8th.
I say “somewhere” because the organizers have already sold the tickets but they don’t tell me where the show will take place.
“The concept of a secret place, the idea of not knowing until the very end-it’s all part of the excitement,” explained Mario Iacampo, CEO of Exhibition Hub, a Brussels-based company behind the show. ..
In fact, the Exhibition Hub is currently exhibiting in several other cities, each of which is a bit different from the others, so this should be a “show”. Are you confused enough? American cities are also visited by several competing Van Gogh shows. They are all different and come from different production companies, but they have similar names.
There is an original immersive Van Gogh exhibition. And beyond Van Gogh. There is also Van Gogh Alive. Imagine Van Gogh. And of course, here comes Van Gogh: an immersive experience.
They have some things in common. They are very large, usually 20,000 to 30,000 square feet (Cincinnati will be 25,000 square feet). The highlight of the exhibition is a large space of all possible square inches covered with animated projections of elements from some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings. In its main room, you’re literally immersed in Van Gogh.
Each show has its own little twist. Some offer to send you a letter from Vincent, using the actual words from Van Gogh’s letter to his brother. Coming here offers a virtual reality tour of Arles, a town in southern France that made Van Gogh one of his most prolific eras. That’s an additional $ 5, but it’s reportedly well worth the extra money. There is also a drawing area where people can drop in at the table and create their own mini masterpieces. Both are very popular.
“I don’t know why, but drawing areas are much more popular in the United States than in Europe,” says Iacampo. “When we first opened in Atlanta, we had a decently sized area, but soon people came out of the immersive room and lined up to get a table. What the hell is that? But soon the space doubled. “
Unlike exhibitions held in convention centers and empty shopping malls, the Van Gogh: Immersive Experience chooses a more eccentric and unusual space. There is no cookie cutter space here.
For example, in Atlanta, we turned to an abandoned 100-year-old manufacturing site that was once used to repair Pullman’s railroad sleeper. It costs more than installing and building panels of the same shape and dimensions in all cities.
“Venue selection is a big part of the show,” said Iacampo. “If the venue adds several different looks to the show and fits nicely there, the audience can get a better experience.”
And, of course, experience is all about this show. It’s hard to say what was about Van Gogh that produced many of these shows. Maybe it’s his tragic personal life. An artist who is always suffering, you know. Alternatively, it may be spontaneity that seems to invigorate his paintings. There is also a theory that it all started with “Lust for Life”, an adaptation of the award-winning 1956 film of Irving Stone’s novel. Whatever it is, the American attraction to Van Gogh bears.
But what made these luxuries possible is modern technology, especially the process known as projection mapping. And it’s not limited to Van Gogh. There is also an exhibition focusing on Frida Kahlo. And Monet. And Picasso, Gaudi and Chagall. The list will continue to grow.
According to owner and partner Dan Reynolds, most of Brink and Brave Berlin, a Cincinnati-based company known for the founding of “Lumeno City,” are even playing with the battle. What are their thoughts? A show that revolves around street art.
“It’s in the back burner right now,” Reynolds said. “We need to get ready for Blink just eight months away. But we’re definitely interested in these shows. But it’s a new form of art. It’s still in its infancy. Is immeasurable, but people are just figuring out how to do this. Heck, when we were doing “Lumeno City” and “Blink”, we still do what we do. I knew what it was. “
At the Cincinnati Art Museum, they support an experiential approach. But so far, there is no official connection with Van Gogh: an immersive experience.
“It would be nice if we could get people to understand the art and the actual work we have at the museum,” said Jill Dan, director of marketing and communications at the museum. “You can experience both.”
The museum has some original Van Gogh. Two oil paintings, watercolor and drawing.
“You can see our Van Gogh and you don’t have to spend a dime,” Dan said, reminding him of the museum’s free admission and parking policy. However, if you are looking for Van Gogh, be sure to call in advance. Not all works are always on display. However, as a record, Van Gogh’s “Undergrowth with Two People” is currently on display at Gallery 227.
Van Gogh – Immersive Experience
when: Opened June 8th.
where: To be announced.
tickets: $ 34.90-$ 44.90 Adults; $ 19.90-22.90 for ages 4-12.