Frontdoors Review: Immersive Van Gogh

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Posted By on August 29, 2021

What is it?

The new Immersive Van Gogh exhibit at the also-new Lighthouse Artspace in Scottsdale. We’ll start with the space — it’s a revamp of the old movie theater space in Galleria Corporate Center to basically be a big, blank canvas for the projection of art. While the gallery may be a blank slate, the entryway and lobby is very much not — it’s been completely designed to showcase the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, including some unique Scottsdale-specific touches.

As for the exhibition, the creative team has essentially taken a broad spectrum of Van Gogh works and brought them to life through the addition of motion and animation, and HD projected them onto massive surfaces that surround the viewer. The visual exhibition is scored by music ranging from classical to electronic, creating as much of a show as a visual art experience.

The exhibition is a joint venture by several different for-profit companies led by a group called Impact Museums. The exhibit itself was created by a team led by Italian artist Massimiliano Siccardi, with music scored by composer Luca Longobardi.

Is it cool?

I went in a little skeptical, and was pleasantly surprised. The exhibit projects about 500,000 cubic feet of images throughout the gallery space in two large rooms, and while the projections move and change, they’re done in a way where you can’t really “miss” anything.

The creative team did an incredible job of creating motion graphics and visuals that tied in multiple images at the same time in many cases, and the music made for a cohesive thread despite the varying musical styles. While everyone there for the VIP opening was busy on Instagram, I actually found the whole thing to be very relaxing. The visual elements are certainly beautiful — how could they not be? — but I didn’t know what to expect from the presentation. It works, and allows you to take a closer-than-ever look at some of the world’s most famous paintings in a very new and different way.

All in all, the program itself lasts a little less than an hour. There’s a little bit of seating in the gallery spaces and social distance markers here and there, but most likely you’ll be standing and you’ll want to stroll around a bit.

Is this going to be an ongoing thing?

There are actually a couple of immersive-style Van Gogh presentations touring around the globe right now, and one would assume that other artists’ works would also lend themselves to this type of treatment. And, the Lighthouse Artspace is one of several across the country that seem to have been created for this precise purpose.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets are $39.99 for off-peak hours and $49.99 for on-peak. They’re available at vangoghphx.com.

About Tom Evans

Tom Evans is a contributing editor of Frontdoors Media.