About two months ago, Debi and I purchased tickets to the “Immersive Van Gogh” Exhibit in Lower Manhattan. Our assigned date and time was July 12 at 11am. So yesterday, was the day for our excursion into the City. There was never a debate over how to get there, as we both agreed from the start, Public Transportation was the only way to go. After minimal planning, we set out for the Long Island Railroad Station in Wantagh, for the first leg of the trip.
It took less than fifty minutes for the train to deposit us at Penn Station. We walked north and a block and a half east, where we descended beneath the streets into the Subway System. It was very humid outside and the heat below ground was stifling. Thankfully, we did not wait long for the F Train, which was not crowded and very nicely Air Conditioned.
After about a twenty minute ride (only six stops, I think), we were back on street level and walking toward the East River. We did not exactly know where Pier 36 was and were getting mildly concerned when we came across a sign that reassured us, we were closing in on the Exhibit.
There was no real line outside, and though we were at least twenty minutes early, we were allowed to enter. It took a few minutes to get acclimated to the lighting and to figure out what was going on. The “Gallery” is actually three large rooms, that are connected. Each room has 360 degree projections of “animated” works by Van Gogh, set to mostly classical music. The entire program lasts, maybe one half hour, and then begins again. We watched it three times, once in each room. The rooms vary in size and set up, thus creating a unique experience in each room. We both felt that Van Gogh’s work really came to life through the digital projections which have been arranged to include movement, changing scenes and an illustrative process (giving the impression that it is being created right there in front of you). We were both struck by the beautiful explosion of colors, and the poignant scenes and characters, which was all enhanced greatly by the music.
We were both feeling a bit overwhelmed by the end of our third viewing, and decided it would be okay to leave. When we did, there was a much longer line outside and we were happy to have chosen an earlier time. It took the whole journey home and even much of last night, to process the Van Gogh Experience – in fact I was sill thinking about it most of today. I know it is going to be in New York until October and then will be in a number of other places after that. If you like art, at all, I highly recommend you try to see it.
Our day trip into NYC felt like another step in the Covid Recovery process. It was great to be out and about and to see the City coming back to life. It was a hot and humid July day and the streets were bustling with activity and with people just hanging out. Throw in a wonderful Art Show, and you have a pretty terrific day.