I’ve received so many asks about this art exhibit coming to town I had to find out more. The story behind how the “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit found its way to town is as interesting as how the designer created it. I’m really excited about this jewel of an exhibit coming to the all-new Lighthouse Las Vegas on Level 3 at The Shops at Crystals adjacent to ARIA Resort & Casino in September. It has already extended its time here in town through Thanksgiving due to the demand.
“It’s a completely new way of experiencing the art of Van Gogh,” said Corey Ross, local producer of hit shows including “Extravaganza” at Bally’s. It was Ross’s quick action and passion for this project that has fueled the frenzy behind the installations of “Immersive Van Gogh” in major North American cities.
Photo Credit Michael Brosilow
In 2018, a buzz was building about a new digital exhibit in Paris by the contemporary immersive artist, Massimiliano Siccardi. Ross hopped on a plane and flew to the city of lights to check it out for himself. He was so moved, he tracked down Siccardi and plotted to bring his moving and all-encompassing experience to fans on this side of the pond.
“Massimiliano Siccardi is really the Steven Spielberg of these immersive art installations,” Ross said.
Van Gogh’s artwork has emotional richness, vivid colors and simple beauty. Siccardi’s “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit whisks his colors and images into animation and choreographed music that encompasses the artist’s work and dips into his psyche.
“It creates a stream of consciousness of what would have passed before Van Gogh’s eyes before he passed away,” Ross said. “It takes you through Van Gogh’s life.”
The exhibition features images of more than 2,000 of Van Gogh’s catalog of masterpieces. Among them are “The Potato Eaters,” “Starry Night,” and “The Bedroom.” Creative Director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi pulled all of that off of the original Van Gogh canvases and onto cavernous rooms to create a stunning art experience. It is paired with a mood-setting soundscape by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi. Vittorio Guidotti, Art Director.
“Immersive Van Gogh” opens July 1, in a yet-to-be announced space. Tickets for the all-ages show start at $59, not including fees, and are on sale now at immersivevangogh.com.
Photo Credit Michael Brosilow
Previous locations of “Immersive Van Gogh” have opened in iconic and architecturally interesting locations, including the former Toronto Star newspaper’s cavernous printing-press room and the historic Fillmore West rock hall in Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco.
The installation has been seen by more than 2 million visitors in Paris. The North American exhibits, which were set up during the pandemic, have been seen by more than 200,000 in San Francisco, Chicago and Toronto. The L.A. exhibit is set to open in May followed by New York in June and Phoenix in July.
Van Gogh’s vivid paintings are projected on the walls, floors and ceiling and paired with an extraordinary soundscape.
“We started in July of last year, in a pandemic, and it was better than we ever expected,” Ross said.
The 360-degree immersive experience uses the architecture of the building to bring the images and colors of Van Gogh’s masterpieces to life.
“It is giant in scale,” Ross said. “The pieces you can see in the museum are around two by four. That magnification of the images allows you to see the technique Van Gogh used, the brush strokes, all of his techniques and colors in a new way.”
For those wearing light-colored or white, the images will splash across your clothes as well.
“Siccardi animates the pieces,” Ross said. “He approaches it like a DJ who fuses different songs.”
The Las Vegas space, which Ross couldn’t reveal just yet, will be chosen for its architecture as well as its ability to safely handle crowds. The added bonus is that you get to experience the exhibit without being crowded or rushed to move along.
“There are social distancing circles on the floor that fit right in with the art,” Ross said. “Van Gogh loved circles, so it’s not jarring. It gives people guidance to move through the exhibit. Families come in and have a great time. It’s great to see kids dancing, chasing the colors around the room.”