So it is hard to know what to expect when entering the 20,000-square-feet marquee built for the occasion in Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall. Yet the experience has undoubtedly a wow factor.
Visitors are invited on a 45-minute walk through giant screens projecting some of the most famous paintings of the Dutch master in high definition. A digital sound system saturates the space with classical scores from composers from Claude Debussy to Erik Satie. It is at times mind-blowing, as you find yourself immersed in Van Gogh's art in its most amazing details and brushwork and becomes particularly exhilarating when sunflower bouquets and starry Provençal nights inundate the space. The whole experience is accompanied by relevant quotes from Vincent’s letters.
Of course, the experience is no substitute for viewing the artist's paintings at first hand, and purists may cringe at the idea of transforming Van Gogh's art into an entertainment show – some of his most famous works even receive an animated treatment. Yet the performance gives a unique sense of what Van Gogh's state of mind must have been when he was creating. For that alone, Van Gogh Alive is very much worth the visit.
Van Gogh Alive was first presented in Singapore in 2011. Since then it has been seen by over seven million people in 70 cities. In the UK it is now in Birmingham and will tour to other venues. The company behind the venture is Melbourne-based Grande Experiences.
|Van Gogh Alive review
|South Kensington (underground)
04 Jun 21 – 26 Sep 21, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
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