Connect with us

Around Town

‘Beyond Van Gogh’ Dazzles the Senses in Downtown Fresno

Published

on

"The Starry Night" as displayed on large projection walls for "Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience." (GV Wire/Albert Baker)
Share with friends

 

While “The Starry Night” is on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art, you can also soak in Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous painting in downtown Fresno.

“Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” opened today at the Fresno Convention Center.

The traveling 4 trillion pixel, high-resolution exhibit transforms more than 300 of his works into animations projected on 20-foot walls. Visitors at Thursday’s preview showing described it as an incredible experience that can be enjoyed by all ages and levels of art appreciation.

“(It) allows the audience to literally set foot into his work to be inside of it,” said Fanny Curtat, the show’s art historian and part of the creative team.

“If you know a lot about him, then it’s just about the fantasy of being in the work you know and love. But if you don’t know anything about him, it’s a great way of developing this connection with him, learning more, and appreciating all of the things he can still show us.”

Watch: Beyond Van Gogh

Beyond Van Gogh Details

  • When: May 27-July 17 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays except for Memorial Day and July 4)
  • Where: Fresno Convention Center (848 M Street, Fresno)
  • Tickets: Start at $39.99 for adults and $23.99 for children (5-15). Group rates and VIP passes are available. Prices are based on the day of the week (weekends and holidays are more). Tickets are for a specific time of day.
  • Length: One hour is recommended to view the exhibition.
  • Additional information is at this link.

“Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” brings the viewer into a giant size interactive art exhibit. (GV Wire/Albert Baker)

Three Rooms, Blinking Portraits

The exhibition is displayed in three rooms, covering 30,000 square feet. In the introductory hall, 21 lighted boards provide a timeline of Van Gogh’s life and quotes from his famous letters to his brother Theo.

Room two is a smaller, more transitory setting. Called the “Waterfall” room, a seven-minute loop projects Van Gogh’s familiar brushstrokes onto a wall in the darkened room. Keep an eye out for Van Gogh “ghost” images to appear.

The final display, the “Immersive Room,” is the largest and most spectacular. Van Gogh’s most famous and other works are projected on nearly 20-foot high walls and columns. The resolution and enlargement of the works show Van Gogh’s mastery of color and his brushstrokes to the most minute detail.

The 35-minute loop is set to a variety of music, from Miles Davis to a lullaby-like version of “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.

His self-portraits and portraits of everyday people align one-by-one digitally on the walls. All of them will blink at you at some point.

“Almond Blossom,” painted in 1890 in Arles, France, is more than a just static painting. The petals come to life, moving across the screen.

Six Months to Plan and Design Show

The traveling show started last year, created during the pandemic. Curtat said the show took six months to plan and design. It takes about two weeks in each city to set up.

Curtat said that Van Gogh never allowed his personal despairs to seep into his paintings.

“He didn’t show any of that darkness in his work, and it was really about focusing on that, focusing on what his work can bring to people, and really focusing on the joy and the beauty and this purpose of sharing the solutions he found for the darkness,” Curtat said.

Patrons view “Almond Blossom” at a preview event for “Beyond Van Gogh” on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at the Fresno Convention Center. (GV Wire/David Taub)

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email