DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ: Immerse yourself in the art of Van Gogh
Both an amusement park and a magical mushroom-like journey, the immersive Van Gogh experience immerses you in a room that blooms, sparkles and rains flowers. It’s amazing, a step beyond any art museum exhibit.
It’s also expensive: Adult tickets cost $ 36 for the exhibit, which moved into a Seattle warehouse on Occidental Avenue in October. As with anything as high profile as this show, there are rave reviews and bitter complaints about the price.
While contemplating the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, animated and set to classical music, I asked myself: how to put an amount of money on the experience of an art like this? Down the street in T-Mobile Park, where the Seattle Mariners play, you can shell out a lot over $ 36 for a ticket, a drink, and a hot dog. Dinner with wine? Same thing.
The experiment, using video mapping technology, transforms the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) into a film that surrounds you with fields of French wheat and flowers, the Rhône and a surreal night sky – then adds several artist quotes. Many of these come from Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, his best friend and the one who supported him much of his life.
“What would life be,” Van Gogh asked, “if we didn’t have the courage to try anything? “
“Normal is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flower grows on it.”
My favorite: “There is nothing more truly artistic than loving people.
When I go to an art exhibition, I hope to broaden my view of the world. On this front, the Van Gogh experience delivered in spades. I recommend it to anyone who is curious about the mind, heart, and connection of an artist with other beings.
Yet there is, dare I say it, an elephant in the room. Van Gogh has had a very difficult time. The truth about his life and death is heartbreaking: he suffered from mental illness; he died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot. The artist would have considered his 1889 work “The Starry Night”, which would become one of his extremely famous paintings, as a failure.
“I put my heart and soul into my work,” he wrote, “and lost my mind in the process. ”
Van Gogh’s torment is mentioned in the text of the exhibition, but only briefly. Of course, I don’t expect a hit show like this to dwell on the artist’s suicide. But as I went through the experience, many questions came to my mind.
Why did this man, so magnificently gifted, die destitute after selling a painting?
How is it that his paintings are so exuberant, in stark contrast to his sadness?
What does Van Gogh’s art teach us about life, 135 years later?
Yes, there are books and films about the artist: a lot to explore when thinking about such things. “The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles” by Martin Gayford is particularly beautiful.
To date, more than 100,000 people have come to see the Van Gogh experience, according to John Zaller, its executive producer at Exhibition Hub, presenter of the show. And that’s right in Seattle. The exhibition was presented in around 40 other American cities as well as in Europe and Asia.
The Dutch post-impressionist is the chosen one, Zaller said in an email, because he is “a bit of a rock star in the art world”.
Van Gogh’s art, with its yellows, blues, greens and golds, is very accessible, Zaller said, adding that the movement of these paintings, applied by Van Gogh’s brushes, is conducive to digital animation technology. today.
The Van Gogh Experience will remain in its premises on Occidental Avenue for a few more months. My opinion is that the show is worth its admission price. I hope seeing it – like all art shows, whether simple or complex – will make people question and wonder aloud about each other.
Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected] dailynews.com. His column is published the first and third Wednesday of the month; the next will be released on January 19.