Review: Immersive van Gogh is fascinating approach to viewing art

The typical art museum displays pieces of art in frames in a large building for you to walk around and view. The new Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in New York City, however, allows you to “walk in” to the works by Vincent Van Gogh. The location at Pier 36 (not to be confused with the van Gogh: The Immersive Experience located on Vesey Street in Downtown Manhattan) is in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The immersive exhibit has locations all around the world, including Berlin, London, Miami, Boston and Dallas. The new exhibit has quickly sold out in multiple cities and has had praised by many critics. Now that schools were closed for the summer, I wanted to check out the experience and see what the commotion was about.

Before having even gone to the exhibit, I noticed the tickets for admission were pricey. $55 for a ticket to an art exhibit for about an hour just doesn’t seem worth it from the get-go. $55 is the basic admission, which gives you access to the show and nothing more. VIP tickets are sold for up to $100 during peak hours. So if you’re looking for something inexpensive to do in NYC, this place isn’t for you.

When I first stepped into the building, I was greeted by a large painting of Van Gogh and a large crowd of people. As I walked into the exhibit they lent me a small cushion to sit on for the duration of the show. Keep in mind that this was only included in the Premium & VIP ticket, which makes the basic admission feel like a rip-off.

After walking in, you pass through a small hallway giving some details regarding van Gogh’s life, and then you enter the building with the show.

There was sufficient space for social distancing in some areas, however not all spaces allowed proper social distancing. In the main room, there were small circles illuminated by projectors to indicate where parties could sit and participate in social distancing.

The whole show, which is around 30 minutes, was really beautiful and exciting to experience. The show was divided into multiple parts to showcase van Gogh’s different artworks, and all were showcased really beautifully. There were multiple areas to view the experience from, including a balcony that lets you see it from above, benches and socially distanced spaces on the floor. The show really allowed us to feel the artwork and music.

There were 3 rooms total, the last room being the biggest. The first room was extremely crowded, so I would recommend going to the final room to fully watch the experience.

For me, the showstopper was the music in the exhibit. The music fit all parts of the experience and was helpful in immersion, which is a pretty tough feat considering the bulk of the exhibit was van Gogh’s artworks projected onto floors and walls.

I do like the exhibit after going, but it was underwhelming considering the amount of praise it got online. I was expecting much more from the exhibit and hoped it would be better or have something more than just the art show, despite the show being really appealing.

Overall, the experience was really nice, but I think it’s not worth going to considering the price-tag of admission. If you’re willing to spend $55+ on an art exhibit, then try it out. But in general, this isn’t worth visiting.