Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out
We got a first look at the gorgeous Immersive Van Gogh exhibit coming to NYC
Get ready to take an emotional journey through the artist's
May 26 2021, 5:04 PM
Donning a hard hat
covered in painted sunflowers, I stepped into the highly-anticipated "Immersive Van
Gogh" exhibit coming to Pier 36 on June 10.
The press on
Wednesday was given a sneak peek of the art installation that solely
features the frenetic work of Vincent van Gogh projected onto massive
walls all set to emotive music by artists like Imogen Heap, Edith Piaf, Thom
Yorke and Luca Longobardi, an Italian composer who curated the playlist.uration 0:30
RECOMMENDED: The Immersive Van Gogh exhibition location has been unveiled
exhibit has wowed audiences in Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco and sold more
than 1.5 million tickets. It's easy to see why. I say "stepped into"
the exhibit because that's just what it's like. If you're like me and you've
gazed at van Gogh's The
Starry Night, Sunflowers or Irises and wished that you could just see
more through the tortured artist's eyes, this is your chance.
Shaye Weaver/Time Out
spans more than 500,000 cubic feet of animated projections—that's the
"largest and most elaborate" of all the "Immersive Van
Gogh" shows as well as the biggest showing of van Gogh's art in the world,
according to David Korins, the New York show's creative director, who has also
won awards for his work on Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen.
He, along with
creator Massimiliano Siccardi, art director Vittorio Guidotti and curators
Corey Ross, Svetlana Dvoretsky and Irina Shabshis have created a mesmerizing
way to connect to the artist on a deeper level that envelopes you in his work.
The projections fall on the walls and mirrored surfaces, yes, but they also
wash across your face and body, bringing you into the art, too. Van Gogh's brushstrokes
are closer than ever and really come to life as the music swells.
emotional when self-portraits of the painter flashed on the walls along
with animated brushstrokes and Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G played
on. My love
for van Gogh, which I'm sure is shared by millions, was finally coming to the
surface in a way that felt meaningful. Maybe it was the year in quarantine away
from art and culture or maybe it was finally feeling connected to the troubled
artist on a deeper level through this installation, but either way, I left the
preview knowing I had just been a part of something special created by artists
who truly love van Gogh's work.
"To me, the
reason why we have all of these mirrored sculptures is to give moments of
contemplation," Korins told us. "To be able to meander through the
experience...to me the emotion comes from being able to choose your own
adventure and invest in and absorb the work on your own time. It's very
The actual show is
one hour long, which means visitors can spend even more time with van Gogh and
his work. Not only that, out in the lobby, there will be more ways to connect
with the artist, including an interactive sculpture called Letters from Vincent, where
you can write a letter to van Gogh and get an original letter (written to his
brother) sent to your phone.
There will also be
a 12-by-12-foot self-portrait of van Gogh to welcome visitors to the exhibition
and an abstract version of The
Starry Night on the ceiling made of 7,500 brushes dipped in
paint, interactive booths to let you "hear" color and
"see" sound (like how van Gogh might've with his chromesthesia),
a "secret" experience having to do with "the green lady,"
and a "pocket gallery" that'll let you interact with masterworks on
your phone via augmented reality. You'll be able to push paint around and take
it home and virtually hang it on your wall.
You might be
wondering why van Gogh is the lucky artist to be featured in this grand
immersive exhibit. It started off as a way to showcase his work,
which is renowned across the world, in a new way, but over the last 15 months,
it's become clear that van Gogh and his work is more relevant than ever, Korins
"If you love
color or imagery or scale or frenetic energy that's fine, but we have all been
indelibly changed from what has happened to us in this pandemic," he
said. "He was a man who was misunderstood at the minimum—he suffered
from, if nothing else, loneliness and depression and being marginalized. I feel
like no matter where you experienced the pandemic, no matter your
socio-economic class situation, we all carried with us a bit of loneliness and
isolation. As we creep out of our little apartments, I feel like he's the
perfect artist for the perfect moment because there's so much of his work that
is contemplative and frenetic and filled with energy but so much that is
buoyant and joyous and I think of it as incredible lightning in a bottle."
Van Gogh" opens at Pier 36 (299 South Street) on June 10. You can grab
tickets at vangoghnyc.com.