New exhibit combines art with technology

Display features animated projections of Van Gogh’s most famous works


Nik Chupkin

Visitors to the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit watch as the animated projections on the walls and floor prepare to transition to Vincent Van Gogh’s famous piece “Starry Night Over the Rhône.” The display featured approximately half an hour of the post-impressionist artist’s works.

By Julian Sevillano, Reporter

As San Francisco starts allowing museums to reopen at limited capacity, a popular new exhibition that blends 19th-century post-impressionist art with modern technology is quickly becoming the hottest ticket to hold, attracting members of the school community.
“Immersive Van Gogh” features massive projections of Dutch-painter Vincent Van Gogh on the expansive walls and floor of a former car dealership complete with harmonizing background music.
“Art has always been a huge part of San Francisco’s culture,” senior Eon Kounalakis, who went to the exhibit, said. “To see things like this pop up again really makes me hopeful for the future of this city, especially with the lifting of COVID-19 measures.”
The exhibit features 300,000 cubic feet of projection, 60,600 frames of video and 90 million pixels, according to Van Gogh SF.
“It was a unique experience, as it connected sounds and animated images to create an immersive environment that put together a collage of Van Gogh’s art,” Kounalakis said. “I learned more about the life of Vincent Van Gogh and about new techniques in digital art that allowed the exhibit to be so unique.”
Some art department faculty have gone to the exhibit as well.
“I went to the Van Gogh exhibit last night,” art teacher Julie Martin said on May 7. “It’s pretty affordable, and it does give you an opportunity to see the whole range of his work from every phase of his life.”
Martin says utilizing technology in art displays is beneficial to its accessibility.
“It allows you to see a lot of work at once,” Martin said about the digital aspect of the exhibit. “It opens up the availability of seeing Van Gogh’s work, and it’s cool when modern technology is used to create that accessibility.”
The venue has implemented a variety of coronavirus safety measures that include temperature checks upon arrival, required face coverings and social distancing circles projected on the floor of the venue.
“We’re proud to be operating an experience where it is safe to GOGH,” reads a message on the exhibit’s website. “To ensure your safety, and based on guidance from the CDC and other government agencies, our walk-in exhibition will operate with enhanced safety measures.”
Tickets are available online only at $40 off-peak and $50 on-peak, but guests 6-16 years of age may purchase basic admission tickets discounted at $25. The show is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days, and runs through Sept. 6 at 10 Van Ness St., San Francisco.
“This exhibit is an awesome addition to the city’s artscape,” Kounalakis said. “It ties together modern and classic art in a way that I have never seen before. I encourage other people to try and check it out.”