Picture this: You’re stepping inside a gallery, but instead of a string of paintings spaced out across the area, you find that the gallery itself has been transformed into digital paintings. Projections of timeless and iconic Van Gogh art reflect on you from every end, and you’re in a swirl of vibrancy, colour and irreplaceable aesthetic experience. In a nutshell, you’re at an immersive Van Gogh exhibit that is currently taking the art world by storm.
Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch impressionist whose art needs no introduction. Starry Night has inspired countless artists, writers and creators, and the Cafe Terrace at Night is an absolute sight to behold! Considering how picturesque his works are, the art industry has been investing heavily in virtual reality art displays of 200 of his works. They’re called ‘Imagine Van Gogh’ and have been attracting crowds from across the world. Image and video projections on walls, ceilings and floors are accompanied by narrations, music and at times fragrances to curate a truly artful experience. Such exhibits have popped up in over 40 cities of the US, along with, Toronto, London, Berlin, Singapore and Dubai, among other places.
The origin of these immersive experiences can be traced back to Europe in 1977. A French photographer Albert Plécy held one such exhibition in an underground space, in the South of France, titled Cathédrale d’Images. A new technique of screening paintings in such a manner was born, known as Image Totale. The modern immersive exhibitions are the work of Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, who used the concept and added features like music to create an unbeatable artistic affair. “The very concept of Imagine Van Gogh is grandiose: visitors wander amongst giant projections of the artist’s paintings, swept away by every brushstroke, detail, painting medium and colour. Immersed in an extraordinary experience where all senses become fully awakened, viewers will be truly moved by such spectacular beauty,” the creators say.
Immersive exhibitions of a lot of artists from Picasso to Monet, have taken place. But the visually exquisite appeal of Van Gogh’s works have gained the most attention. In the US, Van Gogh exhibitions boomed after it featured in an episode of Netflix’s Emily in Paris. Who wouldn’t want to experience art through such a spectacle? Seeing the sunflowers falling all around, sleeping under the starry night, and feeling the calm as the Rhone flows by quietly, Van Gogh’s incomparable creativity has found a beaming space in the digital world, and art enthusiasts are here for it!