“I feel there’s nothing truly more artistic than loving people.” — Vincent Van Gogh
While the focus of Immersive Van Gogh is the art and the artist himself (and rightly so), don’t neglect some of the other magnificent morsels of creativity that await you. There’s much more to the experience than the immersive film.
Van Gogh-ers are first welcomed to the experience by giant sunflowers, an actual 1926 Model T car and a human-scale tube of paint. Add in the beautiful backdrops, a few Van Gogh quotes and the most massive paint can and paintbrush you’ve ever seen, and you’ve got a visual explosion before you even get to the main event.
The first selfie spot you encounter is a giant sunflower — one of Van Gogh’s main motifs. Actually, there are several Jack-and-the-beanstalk-sized sunflowers so you have your choice of floral backdrops. The five sunflowers are made of PVC pipe, soft painted plastics and car parts like a Ford hubcap, nuts and bolts and machinery mesh.
As you meander toward the main event, you will see a Model T. It’s fitting since Camp North End was once home to a Ford factory that made Model Ts and Model As. The Ford building has recently been designated a local historic landmark.
When else are you going to get a photo of yourself “driving” an old-fashioned car? When I went on a Tuesday late afternoon, this seemed to be a big hit with young kids, but even my teenage daughter wanted to get in on the fun.
You won’t be able to miss the giant tube of yellow paint made of metal and plastic and shellacked to look shiny and wet. It’s near the entrance to the immersive experience — and in front of the bar — so it’s also an easy landmark for those meeting friends.
The giant paint can (which is painted to match the Van Gogh-esque mural painted by Bree Stallings, the Blumenthal’s director of artistic experiences) and paintbrush are impossible to miss as you exit the show. It serves as a photo prop to the mural. The paint can handle fully moves, too.
And then there are the gorgeous backdrops. The colors are vibrant swirls that you can get lost in. I saw hordes of people taking snapshots of the Van Gogh quote, “I feel there’s nothing truly more artistic than loving people.”
The Vincent sunflower/tire wall is 50 feet long, made of vintage tires, sunflowers, and the 3-D “painted” Vincent is also made of joint compound.
Yes, the Immersive Van Gogh experience is breathtaking, but the experience outside the room where it happens is also a feast for the eyes. Give yourself time to take it all in. And have your camera ready.
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