The monumental exhibition of Immersive van Gogh was set to make its world premiere in Toronto this week to welcome audiences to a 600,000 cubic ft. immersive digital art experience featuring a curated selection of imagery from van Gogh’s 2000+ catalogue of masterpieces. As a result of coronavirus and continued restrictions on large public gatherings, the co-producers of Lighthouse Immersive (part of the team that presented The Art of Banksy), have boldly innovated a drive-in concept that offers a visually striking immersive art experience, while maintaining public safety.
Immersive van Gogh will open its Gogh by Car, currently slated for June 18 to 28, which will allow patrons to drive into the rarely seen historic space of the Toronto Star’s former printing presses at 1 Yonge St. The expansive venue will be able to accommodate only 14 vehicles per time slot for participants to park, turn off their engines, and enjoy a 35-minute show from inside their cars featuring an all-encompassing experience of art, light, sound, movement and imagination that evokes the highly emotional and chaotic inner consciousness of one of the greatest artists of all time.
Patrons who purchase tickets to the drive-in preview will also receive tickets to the walk-in experience of Immersive van Gogh when it is safe to open; and when the exhibition can be presented in its full scale and original format.
“Presenting cultural events during this time of COVID-19 is an incredible challenge and we are saddened to see the cultural calendar in Toronto diminished as almost all arts institutions have cancelled their events and laid off their artists and staff,” said co-producer Corey Ross. “We believe in the power of art to uplift, inspire and connect communities; and it is more important than ever to offer a creative outlet for Torontonians to escape and recharge during this unprecedented global crisis.”
Tickets for the Immersive van Gogh exhibition are still available, with extended dates throughout September 2020; however, the Gogh by Car preview will only be presented for 11 days only, and with limited timeslots that are available to book on a first come first serve basis. For more information, visit vangoghexhibit.ca.
The exhibition is designed by the master creators of Atelier des Lumières, who originated the digital art experience in Paris seen by more than 2 million people worldwide. Massimiliano Siccardi (creative director) and Luca Longobardi (composer) have been working from their studios in Italy and Germany, with the creative support of Toronto-based contractors, designers and technical stagehands to prepare Immersive van Gogh for preview.
“We have been working around the clock to come up with innovative approaches that will make presenting Immersive van Gogh safe for our audiences, while keeping our artists, contractors and staff employed at their pre-COVID salaries,” says co-producer Svetlana Dvoretsky. “We recognize the devastating impact that coronavirus continues to have on the livelihood of artists and the cultural industry; and will continue to do our part to support artists and make art accessible during these extraordinary circumstances. We believe strongly in the resilience of culture in this great city.”
The opening of Immersive van Gogh to welcome larger in-person gatherings has been postponed to July 2020 and will be extended through to September 2020, as organizers continue to monitor the developments and guidance from the government and health experts in the coming weeks and months ahead.