Even those with just a smidgen of knowledge about art will have heard of Vincent Van Gogh, the 19th-century Dutch painter who cut off his ear and later cut short his own life.
He is simultaneously famous and infamous for his art (especially Sunflowers and Starry Night) and his psychotic episodes.
In just ten years, he produced a massive body of work of 2,100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings, many of which he churned out with frenzied passion in the last two years of his life.
The Van Gogh Immersive Experience displays 200 of his most vibrant, most expressive and dramatic paintings, including Starry Night and Sunflowers, as well as a nifty film that shows all the various colours schemes of Sunflowers that the post-impressionist artist created.
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The exhibition spans several rooms. The first displays his paintings with the narrative around his short 37 years of life, highlighting his relationship with his brother Theo Van Gogh, a major love of his life and later his tempestuous relationship with Gaugin.
“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people”
He was born in the Netherlands, lived in Belgium and ended in the south of France, where he died in 1890 by his own hand. During his time in Arles he produced “Starry Night’ and ‘Bedroom in Arles’.
In another room, his paintings are recreated or created in 3D, and you get to see a recreation of his bedroom in a mental asylum. You can even try your hand at drawing. Van Gogh templates are supplied with crayons or colour pencils for you to create your own artwork.
The immersive experience feels like entering a painting. The 360º almost holographic projections of his chaotic life that change in time with Vivaldi’s four seasons, and you get to watch from a deck chair.
“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream”
The exhibition shares the VanGoghisms such as “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people” and “I dream of painting, and then I paint my dream” as a stream of thoughts.
The highlight of the exhibition is the Virtual Reality experience that takes you on a journey around Arles, showing the various inspirations of his masterpieces. It is unbelievably realistic, and seeing the vibrant colours and the world through Van Gogh’s eyes is an awesome experience.
Van Gogh’s story is painful, and this exhibition gives you an opportunity to saunter through his tortured mind, seeing the world through his colour-blind eyes. The Virtual Reality journey is a heady mix of beauty, poignancy and exhilaration. Go experience it.
More info: Tickets start at £19.90. Book your tickets at Van Gogh Immersive Experience
Despite what one theorist says, I don’t believe for a minute that Van Gogh was colour blind. Total rubbish.
This was quite an experience – sadly far too many children being taken there to run around the ‘immersive experience’ – ruined it for many of us. This is not the place for toddlers.