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Gogh on the Go

Posted 11/10/2021 by Addison Smith

A projection of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, Starry Night Over the Rhone, with viewers of the exhibit in front of the projection. photo by Shana Saint-Phard

An overview of the immersive, traveling exhibit of Van Gogh’s famous and well known works of art. 

The Van Gogh Exhibit crafts a unique experience that allows patrons to be brought into the amazing world of the legendary painter. Most of Van Gogh’s most well known paintings, such as Irises and Cafe Terrace at Night, are featured through a walkthrough style exhibit that gives viewers lots of information on the painter’s life and his work. Over 20 cities have displayed this exhibit, and in each city this enveloping display of his work mesmerizes observers with the use of sound, smell, and sight. Those who purchase the ability to walk through this exhibition are truly left in awe. 

The exhibit is moved throughout the city of Denver to different locations, however, no matter where it is, the exhibit as a whole remains in the same format. Walking into a large room many minimalistic murals of some of his most famous paintings like, The Starry Night and Sunflowers, are painted onto the walls, accompanied by quotes from the artist as well. This room includes an overview of the life of Van Gogh from birth to death, as well as up to ten of his many pieces which are featured with a description of the story behind each piece. Most of these artworks were from his time in and out of an asylum, bringing a deeper meaning to the art. Along with these compositions, the painting of his bedroom titled, Bedroom in Arles, which features the bedroom in his first home in Arles, France, was put into real life with 3-D structures of the furniture in his bedroom, making it as if attendees were in his bedroom in France. 

After taking a gander around the studio area, before entering the next room, a sign mentions that this exhibit incorporates smell to create, “A Multi-Sensory Storytelling” with different smells being released depending on the notes, which are divided by top, middle, and base notes. Even though the mandated masks in the exhibit make it hard to smell the different scents in the second room, the experience inside is still inspiring. Adding onto the scents, a playlist consisting of about 20 orchestral pieces were shuffled in the 45 minute loop of the presentation. 

TJ sophomore Ben Hartley, mentioned that his favorite part of the exhibit, “was how the music and lighting of the exhibit complimented the paintings.” Inside the main part and room of the exhibit that Hartley was discussing, over 20 projection screens are lit up with different projections of Van Gogh’s works throughout his artistic life. His pieces were also displayed onto the floor as well, making the experience even more enticing. After enjoying the show you are led to another area that contains the first shop and a  sunflower room. This beautiful room is completely filled with sunflowers and with mirrors on the walls to create a fun house look to the overall room. Even though the price of the exhibit reaches up to $55 for an adult for regular admission, it can still be argued that the beautiful, immersive exhibit is well worth the cost.