By: Mercedes Vizcaino
Prepare to lose yourself to the magically colorful world of famed Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh with the debut of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in New York City this week, featuring 40 of the acclaimed artist’s masterpieces shown via 74 state-of-the-art projectors. Located at Pier 36 in lower Manhattan, the 70,000+ square foot venue is conducive to large crowds and adheres to COVID health protocols. Art enthusiasts apprehensive about re-joining society in this post-pandemic world can let their guard down in this space!
The exhibit is comprised of 3 concepts: art exhibition, filmmaking through animation, and experiential – where the public walks through the space and art happens within 360 degrees around them and projected on every surface in the building. Set designer, David Korins (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen) was tasked with creating interactive New York-centric installations, unlike no other. According to Korins, “this exhibit will take you deep within a personal and profound journey, look at Van Gogh’s work through Massimiliano Siccardi’s (creative director, film producer) interpretation and leave you with a deeper understanding of the man and his brand”
What to look out for?
The Ceiling, inspired by one of Van Gogh’s most revered work: The Starry Night, was created using 7,800 individually hung paintbrushes dipped in multiple colors – breathtakingly serene and enchanting. Next: an oversized reproduction self-portrait of Van Gogh, allowing viewers to peek into the artist’s eyes and facial expression – to appreciate the intricacies of his dynamic brushstrokes. A must see: The Synesthesia Experience, which invites audiences to walk through 10 booths, engulfed by light and sound, based on documented research watching people with chromesthesia react to certain colors. Vincent van Gogh had a special form of synesthesia called chromesthesia that enabled him to hear color and see sound. The most interactive: Letters from Vincent is an activation based on an artificial intelligence program developed from 1,000 digital scans Van Gogh sent his brother, Theo. Inside the booth, visitors can ask Vincent a question and a response with customized letter addressed to the individual materializes. My favorite exhibit of all, The Sunflower Wall, not just because this mesmerizing painting has been etched in my subconscious since my visit to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, a while back, but simply because of the emotions it evokes. The images of the sunflowers wash over you gradually and the light and music instill a warming effect you must experience in person; it’s as if you are one with the painting. Composer, Luca Longobardi’s mix of electronica and ethereal piano sounds aids with this transformative state of mind.
Don’t miss this imaginative and surreal exhibition dedicated to one of the most renowned post-impressionist artists in history. In his short 37 years of life, had he not succumbed to the pitfalls of mental illness, and had the adequate resources to seek help, it makes you wonder how far his creative reach would’ve been. Tickets for The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit New York are on sale now at vangoghnyc.com and by phone at 844-307-4644. Tickets range in price from $29.99 for kids to $99.99 for VIP Flex tickets. Oh, and there’s also a fun over-priced gift shop (but, really what tourist attraction isn’t?) and a cute café with Van Gogh self-portrait cookies and refreshing sorbets to beat the New York summer heat.
DAVID KORINS, Creative Director New York David Korins is the award-winning Creative Director, Designer and Founder of his eponymous New York City based creative studio. In his two decades of creating omnidirectional experiences, he has, along with his expert team, reached hundreds of millions of people all over the world while helping the most influential brands, companies and individuals bring their stories to life. From stage to screen, museums to hospitality, experiential design to singular live events, Korins has traversed the landscape of world building and storytelling through almost every medium available. Korins created the worlds for the Tony Award-winning musicals Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and Beetlejuice: The Musical.
MASSIMILIANO SICCARDI, Creator
Massimiliano Siccardi studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance of London. But in 1990, he left the world of dance to begin a new journey in the world of video art. Siccardi quickly became the artistic force behind several visual mise-en-scène for choreographers around the world. He also created video scenographies for numerous prestigious festivals and galas around the world. He also re-constructed the video mapping of the Basilica di Giotto for the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, where one of his permanent installation’s virtually reconstructs the frescoes of the Cupola. Siccardi is also a celebrated photographer and has had photo exhibitions in Spoleto and Rome, to name a few.
LUCA LONGOBARDI, Composer
Italian composer and pianist Luca Longobardi is a classically trained musician who incorporates the contemporary electronic music into his pieces. Born in 1976, Longobardi studied classical music in Italy and New York and went on to earn his doctorate in digital audio restoration in Rome in 2011. His works reveal a strong interaction between classical and contemporary music. The experience he has gained as a theatre musician has increased his interest in the relationship between sounds and spectacle; he has composed music for ballets and films and accompanied installations and experimental art productions (Atelier de Lumières – Paris, Carrière does Lumières – Baux-de-Provence, Kunstkraftwerk – Leipzig).
About the Producing Team
The producers of Immersive Van Gogh
New York are Corey Ross and Svetlana Dvoretsky, working with Co-Producers Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis. The presenting organization of Immersive Van Gogh is Lighthouse Immersive.
Corey Ross is the founder of Starvox Entertainment which has ranked in Profit Magazine’s Fastest growing Canadian companies for 5 years in a row. The company produces and manages cross-over performing arts shows and exhibition including the Art of Banksy in London, Canada, the USA, Taiwan, and Japan. He is also a co-founder at Lighthouse Immersive – a company producing the Immersive Van Gogh in 19 North American cities and Illusionarium in Toronto.
Svetlana Dvoretsky is the founder of Toronto’s Show One Productions and a proud recipient of the Order of York by the Government of Canada for her “significant role in arts and culture.” Show One Productions is leading presenter of high-profile international artists in classical music, theater and dance. She is a co-founder of Lighthouse Immersive and co-producer of Immersive Van Gogh.
Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis are the co-founders of Maestro Immersive Art. Shclover founded Maestro Artist Management in 2004, Shabshis in 2005 and together they have presented more than 1,000 theatrical and classical music performances across the United States, including projects with Michel Legrand, Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Malkovich and more. In 2012, Shclover and Shabshis formed a non-profit organization, Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, presenting an annual international theatrical festival to audiences in New York City and beyond.