Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Hugh Baldwin

After the long, dreadful quarantine of 2020 that put us on house arrest, many people, regardless of their interest in art, found themselves stepping into this captivating, walk-in experience.

With exhibits in North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, the immersive Van Gogh exhibitions are undeniably four-dimensional—some even use aromas of lemon and nutmeg to engage viewers’ sense of smell.

Don’t get these exhibitions confused though. Many of them have extremely similar titles, and multiple people have demanded refunds after accidentally purchasing tickets to the wrong event. The first exhibition, Imagine Van Gogh: The Immersive Exhibition, was created about 14 years ago in Europe. Various exhibitions have evolved since, and now, after over a decade, you can see one locally at the Oregon Convention Center. However, tickets for this event (Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience) are becoming limited as it nears completion.

I went to the Oregon exhibition, and it not only showcased Van Gogh’s art but also told the story of his journey as an artist. It highlighted the importance of Van Gogh’s relationship with his brother, Theo, who helped him become the expressive artist he was. Once you step into the main exhibit room, the walls around you begin laying strokes of paint until the whole canvas is filled. The paintings even have animations—faces blink, street lights shimmer in the reflective water at a bay, and flowers sway in the wind, losing petals until the canvas is empty and ready for a new landscape.

If it’s still possible by the time you’re reading this, I would highly recommend checking the exhibit out. When my parents first bought tickets, I couldn’t have cared less. Now, I want to go back, and I know you will too.

The show stays in Portland until February 12th, and you can buy tickets here.


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