Sunday, August 15, 2021

Immersive Van Gogh New York Experience

Since I have been a Vincent van Gogh fan for as long as I can remember,  I was so excited to experience the Immersive Van Gogh at Pier 36 in New York. Van Gogh's works in the form of digital art and animation created by Massimiliano Siccardi is like nothing I've ever seen. The exhibit itself is made up of 60,600 frames of video, 90,000,000 pixels and 500,000+ cubic feet of projections. 

When you first walk in,  you'll learn a few tidbits of van Gogh, that he was born in 1853 and died at the age of 37 in 1890. He also painted almost 900 works in his lifetime. As you walk through the different rooms, there was plenty of room to sit and distance yourself from other attendees, and there's no worry about not being able to see the art - you are able to view it from wherever you choose to sit. Be sure to bring a face mask to wear, as they are required in the exhibit.

It's easy to fully immerse yourself with the digital art and music including Luca Longobardi and Edith Piaf, with masterfully smooth transitions. My favorite van Gogh pieces are The Starry Night and Sunflowers, which were a joy to see. The show seems to run for about a half hour, but if you are a few minutes late, don't worry, it runs on a continuous loop, so even after you watch it once, you can continue to watch it a second and third time to take in the entire experience. I myself watched it three times, and instead of just moving to another room the second time, I decided to watch it from the upper level. The third time I watched it I wanted to be a part of the art, as you can stand close to the wall and have the art projected on you. 

I found the whole experience to be unique, relaxing and visually stunning. As you watch the art move you can't help but feel emotionally moved by all the color and storytelling. Including the show and walking around after, I stayed for about an hour and a half. It was the perfect date night! 

After the exhibit, there are fun interactive activities once you download the Lighthouse Immersive app. The augmented reality activations include Letters from Vincent: asking Vincent a few questions and getting a crafted letter back (using artificial intelligence and machine learning), and Pocket Gallery, in which you see framed art in the form of a brushstroke, but once you hold the app up to the art you'll see the art come to life. You'll also find some areas of course to take some selfies and photos. Don't forget to check out the van Gogh-inspired fashion exhibit and explore the gift shop, which has the biggest selection of van Gogh merchandise I've ever seen. My favorites were the tea cups, statement necklaces and scarves. If you are still in the market of adding to your face mask collection, they have that too! 

Thank you Immersive Van Gogh New York for having me! If you would like to learn more about the exhibit and purchase tickets go to Click here to check out my Instagram Reel of my experience.

- Kim Weling

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