SAN FRANCISCO — “Immersive Van Gogh,” a larger-than-life production that invites audiences to step inside artist Vincent van Gogh’s artworks, makes its West Coast debut on March 18.
It’s from the pioneers of immersive digital art experiences and veterans of the Atelier des Lumières in Paris, where they created the “Van Gogh, Starry Night” exhibition, which has been seen by more than 2 million visitors worldwide.
Produced by Lighthouse Immersive, the show will be staged at San Francisco’s SVN West, at the intersection of two main thoroughfares, South Van Ness and Market streets.
Utilizing the building’s architecture and more than 500,000 cubic-feet of projections, “Immersive Van Gogh” evokes van Gogh’s emotional and chaotic inner consciousness through art, light, music, movement and imagination.
The exhibition will feature a selection of images from van Gogh’s masterpieces, including “Mangeurs de Pommes de Terre” (“The Potato Eaters,” 1885), “La Nuit étoilée” (“Starry Night,” 1889), “Les Tournesols” (“Sunflowers,” 1888), and “La Chambre à Coucher” (“The Bedroom,” 1889). His paintings will be presented the way the artist first saw the scenes he transformed into art: as active life and moving landscapes turned into sharp, sweeping brushstrokes.
The walk-through experience has been designed with health and safety as a priority. Admissions will be limited and in line with the city and county of San Francisco’s capacity guidelines with touchless ticket-taking, temperature checks upon arrival, hand sanitizer stations, social distancing markers prominent throughout the venue, and digitally–projected social distancing circles on the gallery floors to ensure appropriate spacing. All guests must wear a face covering at all times during their visit.
Tickets for “Immersive Van Gogh” are on sale now at vangoghsf.com or by phone at 844-307-4644. Ticket prices start at $39.99 ($24.99 for children 16 or younger), with VIP, timed, and flexible ticket options available. Tickets will be on sale for viewings on March 18¬May 31.
“Immersive Van Gogh” was designed by creative director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi, with original, mood-setting music by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi, who provided a score that combines experimental electronic music with simple-seeming piano. Vittorio Guidotti is the art director.
“We couldn’t think of a more perfect location to bring ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ than San Francisco, one of the world’s leading destinations for art and culture,” said Lighthouse Immersive co-producer Corey Ross. “Rich in musical history, SVN West was once home to Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore West and the infamous psychedelic liquid light shows of the late-1960s that combined projections and music.
“Merging state-of-the-art technology, theatrical storytelling, animation, and some of the finest works of art ever created, ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ is a uniquely mesmerizing experience that seemingly transports the viewer into the artist’s mind to see these timeless works as never before.”
Massimiliano Siccardi said, “Despite being unknown throughout his life, van Gogh’s artwork has created a lasting impact through its emotional richness and simple beauty. Both myself and Luca Longobardi are very excited to bring van Gogh’s legacy to life in the San Francisco Bay Area in an entirely new experience.”
“Immersive Van Gogh,” which has already been enjoyed by more than 180,000 guests since its debut in Toronto in July 2020, has received rave reviews from critics around the world.
The Toronto Sun hailed it “intense and emotional, cathartic and liberating,” and the Toronto Star wrote, “I wondered: could projections of paintings on walls and floors be thrilling? The answer is yes.”
Called “dazzling” by Lonely Planet and a “blockbuster digital experience that has taken the art world by storm” by Artnet News, the exhibition was described by CTV as “a completely new way of encountering art.”
An exhibition is also scheduled to open at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago in February 2021.
For more information about “Immersive Van Gogh,” visit vangoghsf.com or call 844-307-4644.
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) is recognized as one of the world’s greatest and best-loved artists. He was born in the Netherlands to Theodorus Van Gogh and Anna Cornelia Carbentus, a moody artist whose love of nature, drawing and watercolors was passed on to her son. Fluent in French, German, English and Dutch, he worked at his Uncle Cornelis’ art dealership. He fell in love with English culture when he was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London in 1873.
During his short life, he painted more than 2,000 artworks ranging from ordinary household items and self-portraits to surreal landscapes. A post-Impressionist, Van Gogh highly influenced Expressionism in 20th-century art with his works that were notable for their beauty, emotion, and color. He struggled with mental illness and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.
He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after offering his severed ear to a woman at a local brothel. For hope, he turned to painting and nature, until one day when he went out to paint in the morning with a loaded pistol in his hand and reportedly shot himself in the chest. In his 37 years, Van Gogh only sold one painting, “The Red Vineyards,” to his brother Theo.
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