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“Immersive Van Gogh” Places Audiences in Middle of Dutch Painter’s Most Famous Artwork

By Cicero A. Estrella

The “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit is still weeks away from opening in San Francisco, but already the highly anticipated West Coast premiere of post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh’s most popular works of art has been extended for four months through Sept. 6.

That’s good news for those who haven’t been able to secure tickets following weeks of record-breaking advance ticket sales.

The exhibit provides an immersive digital art experience that invites audiences to “step inside” van Gogh’s iconic pieces at SVN West, the 100,000-square-foot arts/performance space that was once the home of Fillmore West and Carousel Ballroom at Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue. 

The exhibit will utilize SVN West’s unique architecture and more than 500,000 cubic feet of projections. The art, light, music and movement combine to place audiences in the midst of van Gogh’s best-known pieces, including Mangeurs de pommes de terre (1885), Nuit etoilee (1889), Les Tournesols (1888) and La Chambe a coucher (1889).

“The reception we have received from San Francisco Bay Area ticket buyers has been enthusiastic and welcoming,” co-producer Corey Ross said. “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.”

The walk-through experience was designed with health and safety protocols in mind. Admission will be limited and will follow COVID-19 guidelines as set by the City and County COVID-19 of San Francisco. All guests must wear face coverings at all times during their visit to SVN West.

The exhibit debuted in Toronto in July 2020, with more than 180,000 guests attending. The Toronto Sun raved that it was “intense and emotional, cathartic and liberating.” Artnet News called it a “blockbuster digital experience that has taken the art world by storm.”

The show was designed by creative director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi, with music by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi. Vittorio Guidotti is the art director.

Legendary Dutch painter van Gogh (1853-1890) is recognized as one of the world’s greatest and beloved artists. During his short lifespan, van Gogh produced more than 2,000 artworks that ranged from ordinary household items and self-portraits to surreal landscapes.

His work—notable for its beauty, emotion and color—highly influenced expressionism in 20th-century art. Van Gogh struggled with mental illness and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.

“Immersive Van Gogh” opens on March 18. For more information, including ticket sales, visit vangoghsf.com.

Photos courtesy of Immersive Van Gogh

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