The second of two popular, immersive light shows about Vincent van Gogh has opened in North Texas. This one — Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience — is inside the concourse at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The Experience is like a small but elaborate museum that’s been inserted into the second floor of the Globe Life concourse. It has a cluster of vivid displays about the artist, his life and paintings — like a physical reconstruction of his bedroom in the Yellow House in Arles, the town where he lived in the south of France. Van Gogh made three paintings of just that room.
For an extra fee, visitors can don virtual reality headsets to stroll around Arles and see the sites the artist painted, the farmworkers, the wheatfields and the cypress trees. There’s even a children’s room at the Experience where — having been inspired by all the blazing visions they’ve witnessed — they can be set loose to draw and color.
But the main room of the Experience immerses visitors in the kind of light show these exhibitions have become popular for: It surrounds them with some 400 of Van Gogh’s paintings as they swirl and morph and dissolve to a soundtrack that incorporates Vivaldi and other classical composers.
John Zaller is executive producer of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. He argued that digital projections like these are well-suited to convey the artist’s vivid painting style.
“With van Gogh’s thick brushstrokes, with so much motion that you see on the canvas,” he said, “his work really lends itself to this updated version of animation.”
The Experience follows the area’s first Van Gogh show. That one’s called The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. It’s taken over the old Masonic Temple in downtown Dallas. The Dallas show is currently selling tickets through the end of October, the Arlington show currently through the end of November.
Check back tomorrow to see how these two shows compare. And check out why are these easy-access high-art shows popping up and why now?