This week, Keith and I got the chance to attend The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Columbus, Ohio. It is a traveling exhibit which will be in a different venue each place it goes, so it will most likely vary a little bit as far as your experience. This post is our thoughts an opinions – your mileage may vary.
We both went into this expecting something that it was not. We thought we would be walking through different rooms and interacting with the different spaces. Instead, we were ushered into a very large room that was 2-3 stories high and had 2 mirrored pillars. There were benches and circles on the floor to note where people were supposed to be in order to be socially distanced. We arrived with about 7 minutes left in the continuously running program (it is about 35 minutes long and has a very brief set of credits that roll before it restarts). The last 7 minutes might have been my favorite – we stayed to watch it twice. The Starry Night, Road with Cypress and Star, and The Starry Night Over the Rhone are featured and it is a lot like watching the moon and stars rise and reflect. It was mesmerizing the way that they edited the elements of the paintings together.
I really enjoyed a lot of the paintings featured in the presentation. I did have some trouble with the way it was edited at times. There were times my vertigo kicked in and it felt like I was going to fall. There were times I could not watch because my eyes couldn’t adjust fast enough. However, most of the time it was a feast for the eyes. I loved it when paintings seemed to build in elements or when one part of the painting moved and interacted in some way. There was always something to look at, and the music seemed to work really well with the presentation. The other part of the show that we stayed to watch twice was the sunflowers part. I did not realize how many different types of sunflower paintings he had done, but I really enjoyed seeing all of the different interpretations. I did not love how jarring the editing seemed at that point, but it went with the music I guess.
I am also a sucker for trees, flowers, and all things nature. Van Gogh seemed to agree because there were so many scenes with gorgeous natural settings. The trees that look like they are ablaze with Autumn color are, of course, my favorite. I also love the one that seems to be the woods with hundreds of fireflies.
Overall, it was not quite what we expected, but we walked out satisfied with our experience. We decided that it was 3.5 out of 5 stars – we were not blown away by the editing, but the beauty was overwhelming at times. I would definitely recommend the exhibit to others and we would love to go back and see the next one – we are told that there will be exhibits like this over the next 3 years. The next one appears to be Gustav Klimt starting in March, and we would definitely consider attending if our schedules are open.
Have you been to The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.