Museum Spotlight: Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
Toronto’s newest Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, founded in May 2020, invites guests to appreciate Vincent van Gogh’s most incredible works of art up close and personal. The exhibition highlights the emotional and chaotic piece of one of the greatest artists of all time through an all-encompassing experience of art, light, sound and movement.
The exhibition was established by Svetlana Dvoretsky of Show One Productions and Corey Ross of Starvox Entertainment. After Dvoretsky visited L’Atelier des Lumieres in 2019, she was moved by the experience of immersive art. She encouraged Ross to see the show, and together they formed Lighthouse Immersive Inc. The founders marvelled at the idea of being able to live through Van Gogh’s genius work with the artist himself, an idea they believed audiences around the world should be able to experience. The exhibit utilized over 400 images from all around the world. Artists worked to dismantle the images, putting them into little parts and then assembling them all together to illustrate the process of how Van Gogh’s masterpieces were created. This process gives visitors a comprehensive understanding of the technique behind his art, allowing them to look within his mind.
The exhibit opens up with a dark corridor that leads visitors into a large room, which is entirely empty, aside from a few visitors and a bench. In this area, guests are transported into the works of Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch painter who lived from 1853 to 1890. Van Gogh was a significant contributor to the post-Impressionism era. His artwork included still lifes, portraits, landscapes, and self-portraits. His bold colours and abstract and symbolic images made him one of the most influential figures in the history of modern art.
Van Gogh created about 2,100 artworks, most of which are projected onto both the walls and floors of the exhibit. Visitors are immersed in the detail and quality of every brush stroke on Van Gogh’s fantastic art. Famous works such as Sunflowers (1888), Starry Night (1889) and several of Van Gogh’s self-portraits are featured at the exhibit. The elements are all taken out of the paintings. Van Gogh’s The Starry Night is shown to be made up of small overlapping sections of thick blue paint, a detail that can only be noticed from up close. The animation of flowers rustling in the wind or stars shimmering over the waves also illustrate the movement in Van Gogh’s art, bringing it to life.
The associated soundtrack created by composer and pianist Longobardi further captivates the audience. Consisting of a chilling introduction and flowing into peaceful melodies, the music heightens the beauty of his art. The music includes compositions by Bach, Handel, Helena Blavatsky and many more. The constant transition from fear to joy highlights the peace and chaos of his artwork. Guests are put in the mind of the artist, capturing his creative genius along with his damaged soul. By allowing audiences to view the masterpieces of the Dutch painter on a seven-meter high wall, the exhibition awakens all senses for an in-depth understanding of Van Gogh’s works of art.
In the era of a COVID-19 pandemic, where various museums have been taken to creating virtual exhibits, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit offers an astonishingly alternative way to view beautiful art safely. The architecture of the building allows guests to become part of the art while observing necessary safety measures. The digital art experience portrays his iconic work in a unique and captivating way. The one-of-a-kind exhibition brings Van Gogh’s art to life, giving visitors a completely different experience than just visiting an art gallery.