Van Gogh Comes Alive in Chile

Imagine an art exhibit that stimulates your senses, engulfs you in a uniquely aesthetic world and allows you to interact with the artist’s pieces. Imagine walking into a gallery and being bathed in light, surrounded by shifting images and energized by music. Instead of simply presenting you with framed canvases, Van Gogh Alive tells you a story – and includes you in it. Through the end of June, Espacio Riesco in Huechuraba is providing Santiago with a new way to experience art.

 Photo: Anika Rice
Photo: Anika Rice

Van Gogh Alive is a multi-media experience about Vincent Van Gogh’s marvelously dreamy yet tainted world. Without showing a single original Van Gogh piece, it transports the viewer to another time and place.

 Photo: Anika Rice
Photo: Anika Rice

A large exhibition space is set up with 40 high definition projectors, multi-channel motion graphics and cinema quality surround sound that “bathes the visitor in breathtaking immersive display.” Images of Van Gogh’s paintings, sketches and letters are projected on various wall panels, floor panels and columns.

Created by the Australian company Grande Exhibitions, Van Gogh Alive is the first large-scale audio-visual exhibit of its kind to come to Chile. An event production company called Agosín took charge of the exhibit’s organization in conjunction with the event space, Espacio Riesco. In April, the exhibit’s materials were shipped from Australia by boat in containers. After about 10 days of construction, the exhibit opened on May 2nd.

 Photo: Anika Rice
Photo: Anika Rice

The exhibit takes the viewer on a 30-minute journey that chronicles Van Gogh’s 10-year artistic life. It is organized in ‘movements,’ or chapters that capture different stages of Van Gogh’s inspiration and plays on a loop all day long.

It begins with a section on self-portraits that portray Van Gogh’s various troubled emotional states. Second are images of his homeland, the Netherlands, which include dark landscapes dominated by earthy tones. From there Van Gogh moved to France, and the exhibit showcases the bright flower, still-life fruit and café scenes that he painted while inspired by Paris’ energy. After that, the exhibit moves from Japanese-inspired prints and landscapes to Van Gogh’s downward spiral into mental illness. Here there is a mood change and a juxtaposition of crisis and control in Van Gogh’s mind. The final movement is retrospective, and includes more of his intense self-portraits.

 Photo: Anika Rice
Photo: Anika Rice

 Photo: Anika Rice
Photo: Anika Rice

“We really hope that the public enjoys this type of mix between technology and art,” says Agosín’s Producer, Angel Lagos. “We released a lot of publicity telling people that there aren’t original Van Gogh pieces here, that it is another kind of exhibit. Hopefully people will be inspired by this kind of experience.”

Through Van Gogh Alive and its other exhibits, Grande Exhibitions strives to bridge the typical gap between art and its viewers. While renouncing preconceived ideas of traditional museum visits, the exhibit makes visitors feel that they are part of the story. An emotional life story presented with top-notch visuals and a powerful soundtrack will attract adults, while children are free to explore the space’s nooks and crannies amidst the dazzling lights shows.

Van Gogh Alive is a special interactive experience that is both educational and inspirational. When you visit, don’t be in a hurry because it’s easy to spend a few hours getting lost in the magic.

Van Gogh Alive
Espacio Riesco
Avenida El Salto Norte 5000
Ciudad Empresarial, Huechuraba, Región Metropolitana

May 2nd – June 30th
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
General entry: $6,900 CLP
Student entry: $3,000 CLP

By Public Transportaion:
From Metro Vespucio Norte, take the B05 bus towards Ciudad Empresarial. Get off at Avenida El Salto and walk 400 meters south.

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