“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Vincent van Gogh
Beyond Van Gogh exhibit at San Jose McEnery Convention Center
For a truly magical experience, don’t miss seeing “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.” The exhibit, featuring around 300 of Van Gogh’s paintings, gives you the feeling of stepping inside his artwork and having a fully immersive and interactive experience. See and feel the art all around you as Van Gogh’s Post-Impressionist masterpieces are digitally projected onto the walls, interior spaces and the floor. Its colorful changing visuals are mesmerizing. And the accompanying soundtrack enhances the experience even more. Not only will you be blown away, your kids will love it too. See little ones jumping on the colored swirls and flowers projected onto the floor at the end of our video clip below.
Beginning of Exhibit – Van Gogh’s Life History
The beginning of the exhibition features a variety of giant art panels depicting Van Gogh’s life. Stroll through this area at your leisure and read about his early years, his relationship with his brother Theo and fellow artist Gauguin, his life in Paris, and his turbulent but prolific times in Arles, the South of France. We were pleasantly surprised how much we learned about Van Gogh that we didn’t know before the exhibit. His younger brother Theo had a huge influence on his life and vice versa. We never realized how close they both were to each other.
Immersive Experience – A Feast For Your Senses
As you make your way into the larger exhibit hall, your senses really come alive. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling as Van Gogh’s brushstrokes and colors dance before your eyes. We experienced so many “WOW” moments, as I’m sure you will too!
The digitally projected art that surrounds you is on a loop runtime that lasts about 35 minutes. If you’re like us, you’ll want to see it a few times to take everything in. Our favorite part of the Almond Blossoms video below is during the last few seconds of the clip when Van Gogh’s colorful painting strokes are revealed as the blossoms fade away.
“Sunflowers” and “The Starry Night”
There’s so much to see and experience, including Van Gogh’s classic “Sunflowers” and his most famous piece, “The Starry Night” (both pictured below). During our visit, we met art historian and curator Fanny Curtat. She told us that Van Gogh wanted his art to mean something. He wanted to have a goal. And his goal was to bring beauty. We learned that Van Gogh painted “The Starry Night” in 1889 while looking out at the view from his asylum room window at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, just before sunrise. A quote to his brother Theo reads “Through the iron-barred window I can make out a square of wheat in an enclosure… above which in the morning I see the sun rise in its glory.”
Van Gogh’s self-portraits are both visually stunning and haunting. See if you can spot the one where he blinks at you. Hint, it’s not shown here. You have to go to the exhibit to see it!
Be prepared to stand for awhile (or sit on the floor) because seating is limited to only a few benches in the room.
Photography and Gifts
Photos are allowed, but no flash photography, videos or tripods are permitted. At the end of the exhibition you can purchase a variety of fun gifts featuring Van Gogh’s artwork.
Proof of Vaccination and Mandatory Masks
Proof of vaccination and photo ID required at entry. Masks are mandatory throughout the exhibit.
More Info and Tickets
Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is on display at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center for a limited time. Get your tickets now before they sell out!