Atlanta, Georgia – Vincent Van Gogh and his works were brought to life during the immersive Van Gogh experience at the Pratt Pullman Yard in Kirkwood. Decaturish visited the exhibit on Tuesday, May 25. The exhibition tells the story of Van Gogh, his life and his art while placing guests in the middle of his work.
“I’ve always been a fan of larger-than-life projection for a long, long time,” said Mario Iacampo, CEO of Exhibition Hub and producer of “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience”.
Iacampo went to a show in the south of France at a mine and after seeing this show he thought there was an opportunity for a new show. He and his team quickly settled on Van Gogh.
“First, his art is exceptional. It’s one of a kind, ”said Iacampo. “You can’t really say that he was influenced by someone or that he was part of a trend or created a trend. He was like him.
Van Gogh painted for nine years of his life from 28 to 37 years old. He painted over 900 paintings and created over 2,000 drawings during this time.
“There are over 700 letters to his brother and through these letters you really find out what he thought about his art,” said Iacampo. “It’s easier to create because we don’t interpret his art, he tells you what he thought when he walked into the convent, when he was painting Starry Night and he says’ the colors of the night seem more to me. bright as the colors of the day ”. You really know what he’s thinking because he’s telling you.
There are three parts to the experience. The first two rooms feature various paintings and information panels that share details about Van Gogh’s life and works of art. The creative team wanted to show a lot of their art, and they showed more than 300 works by Van Gogh. The idea was also to create context, so people understand why this is important, said Iacampo.
The exhibition has been recreated in several cities such as Paris, New York and Atlanta. Each is designed for a specific location in town, and a few tweaks are made along the way. In Atlanta, the creative team added all of the paintings in the first room to give some perspective to the size of the actual paintings.
In one part of this room, there is also a projection of Van Gogh’s vases which rotates through these paintings. The aim was to show that when Van Gogh studied a particular subject, he studied it over and over again, Iacampo said.
The next piece is the immersive experience which places visitors in the middle of the paintings and gives them a sense of what the whole environment might have looked like before it became a painting.
“There we want to show the paintings that are really immersive,” said Iacampo. “When you think of Starry Night on canvas, it might be 20 inches by 30 inches, but in real life when he was painting it was a scene from nature.”
The creative team therefore wanted to bring art to life.
“We took the objects inside his paintings and said that when he painted the trains they were moving,” Iacampo said. “When he painted the crabs, they were probably moving.
The last room in the exhibition has a virtual reality experience and a coloring station, so guests can create their own Van Gogh painting. Virtual reality has been enhanced for the Atlanta experience and is meant to show a day in the life of the artist. Iacampo said virtual reality was the icing on the cake of the whole experience.
“The last part of the experience is probably the most important part for me because he got involved in an asylum,” said Iacampo. “That’s what we’re trying to show.”
“But what we have to remember is that while he was at the convent he created some of his greatest works. He created Starry Night at the Convent. He created many Vases at the convent, ”added Iacampo. “It was truly one of his most prolific [work]. “
The exhibit coloring station is for adding fun and being interactive. Atlanta has been the most successful with this item in terms of guests bringing home their designs.
“Normally what people do is draw them, scan them and leave them lying around. Here, when you watch people go, everyone picks them up, ”said Iacampo.
The Pratt Pullman Yard was remodeled for the exhibit to add front doors, fix the leaky roof, and fix holes in the floors. Iacampo likes buildings that people haven’t been in for a long time, and Pullman Yard hasn’t been used for anything for over 50 years.
“At the end of the day, I love these kinds of buildings. They are majestic. They have their own story. Brick is always hotter than anything else, ”said Iacampo. “Judging by the reactions of the people, I think we made the right decision.”
Sam Larsen, a Decatur resident, said his parents were from Atlanta and saw Pullman Yard when it was on duty as a rail yard and then when it was abandoned and collapsed.
The facility has been used as a filming location for various projects and is destined to become one of Atlanta’s best entertainment districts. Larsen, who works in the film industry, has filmed at Pullman Yard before, but said it was nice for the building in use and had regained some grandeur.
“It’s cool to see this building transformed because when we filmed here two years ago it was a whole different environment,” said Larsen. “Someone with a lot more imagination than me transformed this space very well. It’s really cool.”
Tuesday night was Larsen’s second time visiting the exhibit and he enjoyed learning more about Van Gogh throughout the experience.
“We thought we knew a fair amount of Van Gogh, but I found myself learning a lot, especially about mental health,” Larsen said.
Lithonia resident Phyllis Thurmond and her sister Janice Kitchens both enjoyed the experience, especially the virtual reality at the end of the experience.
“It brings everything together because you actually feel like you are seeing what he saw and what inspired him to do his paintings,” Thurmond said.
She also enjoyed seeing Van Gogh’s experience and talent during Mental Health Awareness Month while he suffered from schizophrenia.
“With mental illness we have to break down the stigma and that was a great way to celebrate,” Thurmond said.
Kitchens has seen “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” in Paris, Chicago and Atlanta. She said they were all phenomenal. Although the exhibition in Paris did not have the virtual reality experience when it visited in 2019.
“At first, when I saw him, you feel like you’re inside one of his paintings, actually. It’s just different to see different perspectives, even from different countries and different cities, ”Kitchens said. “I’m glad he came here.”
“Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” will be at Pullman Yard until January 1, 2022. Standard admission to the exhibit during the week is $ 32.80 for adults, $ 19.10 for children 4 to 12 years old and $ 20.70 for students 13 to 26 years old and seniors. Ticket prices are slightly higher on weekends and the virtual real estate experience costs more. More information can be found on the exhibition website.
The experience is designed to be socially distanced, approximately 80 guests are allowed to participate in the experience every 30 minutes, and guests are encouraged to wear masks inside the experience.
There are approximately 300 paid parking spaces at the site along Rogers Street. All spots must be accessible via the ParkMobile app.
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