Photo by Paige Tasin.
It is easy for most teenagers to agree on one thing: art museums are quite boring for those lacking a deep understanding of art. Moving from room to room, staring at paintings that don’t reveal much about the true intention of the artist, especially considering most people can’t read art easily without training. Which is why the Van Gogh Exhibition: The Immersive Experience is such a breath of fresh air for the artistic community.
The exhibition is located at 524 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002 and is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The entire experience is self-guided, between 60 to 75 minutes, and is completely engaging. The exhibit is selling tickets through Jan. 2022.
Tickets are $36 and are available on the website https://vangoghexpo.com/. The Van Gogh Exhibition is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.
Upon entering the exhibit, the walls are covered with passages and paintings of Van Gogh’s. The passages bring a deep contextual understanding of Van Gogh and his paintings. Through these texts, the viewers gain a rich comprehension of Van Gogh’s life and how his life was expressed through his art. His struggle with mental health was a large factor in his artistic life. The expression of his struggles are apparent in his artwork and upon learning this, it is as if viewers can read his paintings like a book.
His paintings displayed the immense distress that he experienced due to depression. When viewers understand this backstory, they can view his paintings in a new light. Instead of only seeing what is on the surface, viewers can easily discern his intent for the paintings and the emotions he wanted to convey. Now provided this background knowledge, the viewer doesn’t need to be an art expert to understand the goal Van Gogh wanted to achieve. It is truly an eye opening experience to the world of art.
After walking through a gallery of artistic work that is now filled with new meaning, viewers can move on to the exhibition. Upon entering, viewers are completely immersed in color and art. The room is covered corner to corner with projections of vibrant paintings. Painting by painting the entire room is encompassed with all of his artistic work. Every person in the space seems as if they have been swallowed by art that completely covers them. This immersion is absolutely breathtaking.
There are three different phases of the exhibition: Van Gogh’s early, middle and late work. Viewers can watch his art get darker as he grapples with mental health. The significance conveyed by famous paintings are now more obvious and understandable. For example, “The Starry Night” is now more deeply understood as viewers understand how at the time he was struggling with severe depression and can analyze the hope and disparity it conveys at the same time.
This experience itself lasts 30 to 45 minutes. It is completely captivating and audiences will never want to leave. It is picture worthy and luckily photography is allowed. It is something that you won’t want to miss.
After leaving the experience the next room is one for anyone, who might be feeling artistically inspired, to create their own artwork. There are tables covered in crayons and paper where anyone can draw their own masterpiece. To the right of this activity is a wall where viewers can display their artwork in the museum.
Finally, for VIP viewers there is a virtual reality opportunity. Viewers can “walk” through the world of Van Gogh while seated with a VR headset on and see the places that inspired his work. Walking through the streets of France, viewers can experience breathtaking views that make it clear why Van Gogh would want to paint such beautiful scenery.
After leaving the experience viewers feel filled with a new, deep understanding of art. Examining art will be easier in the future for anyone who attended the exhibition. The experience leaves viewers starstruck as they marvel at all Van Gogh was able to accomplish in his lifetime.