‘Immersive Van Gogh’ Exhibit Will Let You Step Inside the Art

In the 1990 film Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, an art student is transported to within a painting by Vincent van Gogh. There, he meets the famous Dutch artist (as played by Martin Scorsese). Van Gogh relates the story of how he lost his ear before the student wanders through a series of van Gogh’s most famous and most visually-striking Post-Impressionist landscape paintings.

Soon, Bay Area art lovers will have the chance to experience that same enchanting art walk when the “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit takes over San Francisco’s SVN West. The show features several massive art projections that will let audiences see Vincent van Gogh’s works from the inside-out.

Following several weeks of advance ticket sales, event organizers Lighthouse Immersive recently announced that “Immersive Van Gogh” will open for an extended run on March 18 and be available to view through September 6, 2021.

“The reception we have received from San Francisco Bay Area ticket buyers has been enthusiastic and welcoming,” Lighthouse Immersive co-producer Corey Ross says in a statement. “Despite the setbacks and challenges of Covid-19 this past year, one thing is clear—the arts will be coming back stronger than ever in 2021. We look forward to welcoming audiences through our doors beginning in March.”

Utilizing the SVN West’s massive size, the show invites visitors to seemingly step inside some of van Gogh’s masterpieces. The works on display include “Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” and “The Bedroom.”

Admissions will be limited and in line with the City and County of San Francisco’s capacity guidelines. There will be touchless ticket-taking and temperature checks upon arrival. Hand sanitizer stations and social distancing markers will be prominent throughout the venue. Finally, 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 to SVN West.

The paintings will be projected as how van Gogh described the way he first saw them: actively moving landscapes turned into sharp yet sweeping brushstrokes. The exhibit’s creative director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi worked with art director Vittorio Guidotti to bring these works to moving life.

In addition, Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi provides a score that combines experimental electronic music with ethereal piano. Audiences will see a new view of the artworks and gain new insight into van Gogh’s emotional and chaotic inner consciousness through the mixture of art, light, music and movement.

“Immersive Van Gogh” first debuted in Toronto in July 2020, and will also be shown in Chicago in February 2021. Tickets for all dates of this West Coast premiere go on sale Saturday, Jan. 16. $24.99-$39.99 and up. vangoghsf.com.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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