Beyond Van Gogh brings the famous painter back to life

Beyond Van Gogh brings the famous painter back to life | Pro Club Bd

Walking through the immersive art exhibition Beyond Van Gogh, open through September 4 at the Charleston Area Convention Center, is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s not the typical way most people view Vincent Van Gogh’s work. There are no posters to read next to stationary paintings. The paintings are infused with animation. There is an ongoing soundtrack. And the exhibition focuses on the joyful and inspirational aspects of a historical figure too often remembered for the tragic aspects of his life. The whole experience lasts about an hour.

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Beyond Van Gogh was designed in 2020 and took six months to complete. The team behind it, Paquin Entertainment Group and Normal Studio, wanted an immersive art exhibition that could exist within the parameters of the new Covid normal. So they designed a program that travels with a very small crew and allows for social distancing, so those hungry for museum experiences have the chance to see Vincent Van Gogh’s work in a brand new light.

And it really is a unique approach. Guests begin the process by walking through an area that most closely resembles a traditional museum. However, Van Gogh’s works are not in the foreground; it is his words instead. The opening section presents the story of Van Gogh’s life, punctuated with excerpts from many of the letters he wrote to his brother and key supporter Theo Van Gogh.

“We always have correspondence and letters for artists,” said Fanny Curtat, art history adviser to Beyond Van Gogh. “But this one is especially valuable because he had such a deep connection with his brother Theo for over 18 years. Theo was everything to him. Reading these letters will give you a better sense of how much more there is to him than just the deafening incident and Starry Night.”

The quotations from these letters paint a picture of Van Gogh that contradicts the conventional image of a truly depressed figure. There are words that speak of his great love for art, the world around him, his friends and family, and his desire to do more and be better in the world.

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