The Journey Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience has landed in Anaheim, taking over the Anaheim Convention Center with a multimedia exhibit of the Dutch painter’s works that includes some of his most famous offerings like “The Starry Night,” ” Café Terrace at Night ”and“ Tournesols ”.
The experience kicks off July 20 and runs daily through Labor Day, Monday September 6. Although there are currently several Van Gogh exhibitions in North America, including Immersive Van Gogh, which appears in the former Amoeba Music building on Sunset Boulevard. in Los Angeles on July 31, these are different events and produced by separate companies.
At the entrance to The Beyond Van Gogh experience, guests can browse oversized screens featuring facts about Vincent Van Gogh as well as read some of the writings, which were found in letters he wrote to his brother Theo. .
“It’s a treasure,” said Fanny Curtat, art historian and consultant for Beyond Van Gogh, as we toured the production in a media preview earlier this week. “It’s rare in the history of art to have 20 years of intense correspondence with his brother, who was his confidant, and when you read these letters, you see how lucid and conscious he was. There was a childlike wonder to him with this wisdom.
Organized by Montreal-based Normal Studios, the main attraction of Beyond Van Gogh is a massive room with various pillars, completely engulfed in projected imagery that uses 4 trillion pixels of content to create the multidimensional experience. As the music plays and the voices read excerpts from Van Gogh’s letters, his work moves along the walls, moving from one room or collection of works to another.
Even the ground is set in motion as the petals of the painting “Almond Blossom” fall, swirling throughout the room and under your feet. It’s fascinating to see the works come together. As “The Starry Night” began to take shape, brushstrokes began to project like comets on the walls. “Café Terrace at Night” put on a breathtaking spectacle with the paint reflecting off the rippling water, which rose from the ground and up the walls.
“He was so expressive with his work,” Curtat said. “There is this idea of playing with the eyes and the artists were realizing what colors could do. Van Gogh did not mix the colors, they are on his palette and the hue and hues go side by side on his canvas, but they are not mixed. This juxtaposition sometimes with complementary colors like the combination of orange, yellow and blue, for which he is so famous, they give your eyes that challenge and that feeling of movement and he knew it.
The entire experience lasts around 45-50 minutes and Curtat insists that there really is no wrong way to experience the art. As this exhibit traveled across North America, it saw people moving around in space, some preferring to sit in one place to admire everything. She has also seen customers dancing, doing yoga, and children chasing images on the ground.
Although she said that there is an undeniable aura surrounding the original physical paintings hung in museums, the display of historic works of art in this type of environment has attracted new generations of art lovers. .
“It’s a good experience for people who already know it and consume it in a different way or for people who discover it beyond ‘Starry Night’,” she said. “The curatorial vision of this project aimed to overcome the darkness of myth. People remember the dark side, which is normal; he was struggling and he cut his ear off, but when you look at his work, you don’t see any of that. You see the light and the joy he saw and how nature healed for him.
Advance ticket purchase is required to attend Beyond Van Gogh and sessions are limited to just 50 people at a time to encourage social distancing and give guests the flexibility to focus on the screening space for really enjoy the experience.
Mike Lyster, Communications Director for the City of Anaheim, was also present at the media preview. He said the city was closely monitoring what was happening in Los Angeles County regarding the increase in COVID-19 infections and the new face coverings required for all interior spaces.
Of course, the event sells Van Gogh print face covers in its gift shop, but as of now, they are not required for guests who have received COVID-19 vaccines.
“After over a year that we’ve all been through, going out and experiencing this is just amazing,” he said, adding that this was the first major public event at the Anaheim Convention Center, which is closed. for a year and a half. “It’s a great way for young people who haven’t gone to an art gallery or who may be intimidated by it, to discover and appreciate art as it has a more pop-up feel and selfies. are amazing. It’s an amazing introduction to Van Gogh if you haven’t seen his painting in the galleries before.
Curtat said the timing for this exhibition is perfect as we are emerging from a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are now in a position to view these beautiful, bright and daring works of art. Van Gogh produced more than 150 works, including “Almond Blossom”, while he was confined in a mental hospital.
“With all of his struggles, he transcended them with art,” she said. “There’s always something so relevant about it, especially with how we’re feeling these days. He was locked in an asylum room and still created so much beauty and we were locked up for a year and a half. He always appreciated the wonders of life and the world and went beyond its darkness. He focused on beauty and movement. The world is always like that, it is still beautiful and wonderful. It’s inspiring to see someone who struggled while continuing and wanted to share more of the beauty and not the struggle and the darkness.
Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
When: 10 am-10pm Sunday to Thursday; 10 am-11pm Friday-Saturday July 20-Sept. 5
Or: Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim
Tickets: $ 24.99 for children ages 5 to 15; $ 36.99 to $ 94.99 for adults