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Inside the Immersive Pavilion in the Sawmill District sits a treasure trove of Vincent van Gogh masterpieces.
Unlike in a museum where a piece is static, van Gogh’s masterpieces are projected onto walls so the visitor becomes part of the painting.
This is the experience “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” has brought to the world. Beginning Wednesday, New Mexicans have a chance to visit the traveling show in Albuquerque.
It has taken more than 100 workers nearly 14 days to get the space ready for visitors.
David Rosenfeld, managing member of Primo Entertainment, the promoter of the exhibit, said Albuquerque was always on the list for the exhibit.
“To find a place in Sawmill is exciting because it’s centralized for most people,” Rosenfeld said. “In most cities, that doesn’t happen.”
Since opening, the exhibit has sold more than 2.5 million tickets globally making it one of the most popular current traveling exhibitions.
“Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” features about 300 van Gogh paintings in digital form. It includes such recognizable classics as “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers” and “Café Terrace at Night,” as well as many revealing self-portraits. These are digitally projected onto floors and walls to give visitors a unique perspective into van Gogh’s world. This section is on a 45-minute rotation. Tickets are on a timed-entry basis with about 45 tickets available every 15 minutes.
Fanny Curtat is the art history consultant for the experience.
“Vincent is one of the most recognizable artists in history,” Curtat said. “We know the history of his struggle through poverty and madness. But what you see in this experience is his work filled with color. There’s something to be said bringing new life into his work and showcasing it in a different way.”
The show is broken into three sections. The first is in the Introduction Room, where visitors will be able to read about van Gogh’s relationship with his brother, Theo.
“Throughout his correspondence with Theo, you see that Vincent is coming from a pure place as his brother was everything to Vincent,” she said.
In the Waterfall Room is a short presentation leading into the Immersive Room.
“You don’t have the magic of the original,” she said. “But what we do is bring life to the many pieces. In the room, everything moves around you and is the true essence of what it is to live in this life.”