After stepping into Van Gogh’s world and paintings at Immersive Van Gogh, I drove across town to the Columbus Museum of Art. Here I was able to take a step back and enjoy the real paintings.
They currently have a special exhibition called “Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources.” There are several paintings and drawings by Van Gogh himself along side a carefully curated collection of artwork that inspired him.
It’s easy to spot the Van Gogh pieces as they are all presented on an electric blue wall. While it makes them stand out, I found the blue wall distracting. Nonetheless, it was pretty incredible to stand in the presence of the work of this remarkable artist.
I most appreciated the commentary that accompanies each work of art. Curators used Van Gogh’s own words to describe each work and what he took away from it.
I was partial to several including French Modernist Armand Guillaumin who often exhibited with the Impressionists. Van Gogh frequently used books and flowers in his work as well.
Then there was Danish-French Impressionist Camille Pissarro who often looked for inspiration around the fields and gardens near his Normandy home.
I also liked Dutch Realist Anton Mauve whose oil on canvas “Carting the Log” reminded me of my family who have been loggers and sawmill workers for generations.
Narcisse Virgilio Diaz de la Pena, a French painter of the Barbizon school was one of my favorites because the light and color are extraordinary.
This event requires an additional ticket on top of your museum admission but is worth every penny. Take your time and enjoy!
Want to read about the Immersive Van Gogh experience? Click here!
Say the name Vincent Van Gogh and most people know who you’re talking about. They recall mention of him in school and likely remember that he cut off his ear or maybe recognize one or two of his more famous works.
He’s viewed today as one of the most important artists in human history.
What many don’t realize is that he created over 2,000 works of art during a relatively short career and that it wasn’t until after his death that the world recognized his artistic genius.
We also rarely talk about the fact that this enigmatic character was human. He came from a family that sometimes struggled financially and young Vincent struggled with melancholy. He was born a year to the day after his parents’ first child was stillborn. That child was also named Vincent and our young Vincent frequently walked past his own name etched on a gravestone.
He failed at becoming a minister, was unlucky at love, and mental health struggles forced him to admit himself into an asylum. Such was his short life which ended at the age of 37.
Yet the work he created through all these challenges remains groundbreaking and continues to inspire these 131 years after his death.
So it should come as no surprise that a modern artist has found a way to reinvent Van Gogh for modern audiences. Immersive Van Gogh is a multimedia event popping up in cities across the country. It means to immerse the viewer into Van Gogh’s works of art by creating the illusion you are inside the painting.
Imagine walking into a massive room where scenes from his paintings are projected onto the walls, from floor to ceiling and often actually on the floor. They are accompanied by music and the use of light guides the participant from night into day and back again.
Images fade in and out and they sometimes move up and down or to the side. Windmills turn, the sun rises and moves around the room, and flowers bloom before your very eyes.
It’s an extraordinary thing.
It’s also difficult to describe. It’s imaginative, larger than life and surreal. It’s awe inspiring.
I highly recommend it if you enjoy art and are looking for a fresh way to experience some masterpieces.
If you go, there are a few things you need to know. First, you have to buy tickets online. In Columbus, there are tickets available but it’s sold out for months ahead in some US cities. It’s also in Cleveland now and will be coming to Cincinnati in 2022.
The experience lasts for about 35 minutes before the loop begins again. You can stay for one viewing or stay all day. Whatever you do, be sure to watch at least twice and do so from different vantage points in the room. It looks different from every perspective.
Finally, I want to note that there are pulsating lights and optical illusions that may cause motion sickness or vertigo if you are prone to these things. I had to close my eyes a couple of times when it suddenly appeared that the floor was moving. While the experience is fantastic, I would not want to send you to something that might be an unpleasant experience.
For me, it was positively incredible to be surrounded by his Starry Night and to see giant irises and sunflowers bloom en masse.
Here’s one more picture for your viewing pleasure.
I had timed my visit here to coincide with the new exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art. It features a number of Van Gogh pieces alongside other artists who influenced Van Gogh. So I spent the morning inside the paintings and the afternoon taking a step back to enjoy the real artwork on the walls. It was well worth the wait for both.
Yesterday’s theme was Vincent Van Gogh. I began the day at the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Columbus and was wowed by the experience which is intended to make the viewer feel a part of the artist’s work in a larger than life way. They use imagery, music and light to draw the viewer into the room sized works of art.
It was awe inspiring.
Then I ventured to the Columbus Museum of Art to view Van Gogh’s actual paintings alongside other artists who influenced his work. This exhibition will be there through February 6, 2022 and is well worth a visit if that’s your idea of fun.
It was a good day but I’m tired and too scattered to attempt writing something. So I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures and the promise that I will try making stories from today interesting – even for those of you dear readers who aren’t all that interested in art!
If nothing else, the pictures will be pretty so check back!