Visiting around 40 U.S. cities, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit gathers people of all ages to watch a 30-minute projected display of Van Gogh’s most popular pieces. With an absence of weekend plans, 70,000 people from Dallas attended this event within the first month to see Van Gogh’s work come to life.
From floor to ceiling, this huge production is the talk of the week for every city to which it travels. Dallas specifically had many promotions leading up to the opening day, with their venue set up in a warehouse space near South Dallas.
Over 500,000 cubic feet of projections, 60,600 frames of video and 90,000,000 pixels, this “new way of encountering art” is presumed to be the future of displaying art for all to see, according to the Dallas Van Gogh website. Offering yoga and date passes, it aims to immerse viewers in the world of each painting in a more inclusive way.
While this immersive event is supposed to make viewers feel one with Van Gogh’s creations as they move across the walls of the venue with peaceful music in the background, it did not achieve this effect for most. From the lack of seating options to the high prices, the 4.6-star rating on Google Reviews has Ursuline students appalled at the undoubtedly “fake reviews,” Montse Spencer ’22 said after the seeing the exhibit two weeks prior.
Students and senior citizens alike have complained about this much-fancied function and its lack of substance. With tickets costing $50 at the door and $40 when purchasing online, many claimed this price was “too high for what you get,” especially with the unique seating arrangements. Fifty dollars pays for an individual to stand within a projected circle for 30 minutes unless they spring the extra $20 for a seat cushion.
Olivia Gray ’22 said the function “was not worth the money for a 30-minute show” and that it was “overhyped on social media.” She regretted her purchase and became more upset over the fact that she brought her friend visiting from Canada to attend it with her. In newspaper class, Gray strongly advised everyone not to attend.
Similarly, senior citizen Edna Ashmore, excited to see Van Gogh paintings displayed in a new fashion with her niece, said her outing was “uninspiring” and borderline “sophomoric.” Ashmore made it known that she would rather see the actual paintings than watch a slideshow of Van Gogh’s work.
Van Gogh’s Immersive Experience focuses on creating an affair for the senses, with moving images and inspiring music, compared to the normal ordeal of staring at a painting. The idea of incorporating more senses into viewing art can certainly revolutionize the way museums and new artists make money and create “buzz” for their artwork.
Because there is such a large social media presence, and the outcome reflected the strategic advertisements, there will definitely be more events like this in the future. Realizing that this large internet platform brought in a significant number of viewers who would not normally attend museums can help explain why some did not love the exhibit. On the other hand, regular museum goers can say they get the same feeling from going to a museum with headphones on, while paying a fraction of the price and supporting their city’s art fund.
Finally, although a lot of people in Dallas did not enjoy this immersive experience because of its price and location, this new form of art has not gone unnoticed. With the millions of people who have attended the display, adjustments can easily be made with the large response the exhibit receives daily.