The “Beyond Van Gogh” exhibit is something of a wonder. A haunting, immersive experience, the show reimagines Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces for the digital age, infusing them with life and surprising new appeal.
The show, which debuted on April 15 at Miami’s Ice Palace Studios, was created by Mathieu St-Arnaud, creative director and partner at Normal Studio, and art historian Fanny Curtat. “We wanted to bring something new to the table, something that hadn’t already been seen,” says St-Arnaud. “We all know that the ear cutting and suicide are part of Van Gogh’s art, but we wanted to go beyond the myth and meet Vincent, to go beyond the frame and enter his paintings.”
To bring their vision to life, St-Arnaud and Curtat chose 300 of Van Gogh’s works, including illustrious paintings such as “Sunflowers” and “The Starry Night,” plus a whole series of the artist’s self-portraits. They then created a multimedia experience that combines projection technology with carefully selected music, magnifying Van Gogh’s masterpieces and beaming them onto the walls and ceilings of Miami’s Ice Palace Studios. The result is a complete integration into Van Gogh’s universe, allowing visitors to be enveloped in the painter’s work, to the sounds of blissful music that somehow manages to enhance the beauty of the art. “We decided to go with renditions of songs that we might know that are part of the contemporary registry but without lyrics,” says St-Arnaud, “to let the music accompany the images. It was a big revelation. It heightened the emotion.”
While the show has attracted many art lovers, it’s also been a major hit with new audiences who perhaps weren’t particularly drawn to museums but enjoy this type of multimedia show. “The goal is to be as inclusive as possible,” says Curtat. “If you’re familiar with his work, it’s an opportunity to rediscover it through a different angle. And it’s a great chance for someone who knows nothing about Van Gogh to discover his body of work.”
“Beyond Van Gogh” has been such a spectacular success in Miami that it is now traveling to other US cities – Austin, Detroit, Honolulu and Milwaukee to name a few – with plans to eventually take the show to South America and Japan as well. St-Arnaud and Curtat are also currently working on a new immersive exhibit featuring the works of Claude Monet and scheduled to premiere in Toronto this fall. We can’t wait to see how they reimagine the illustrious French painter’s dazzling works
For more information about “Beyond Van Gogh,” visit vangoghmiami.com