England, Life in London

The Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience

February 22, 2020
meet vincent van gogh experience

I am not an aesthete, not even close to it but I am not stupid to not know van Gogh and the other key players in the world of art. I have had a bit of an inkling towards van Gogh for as long as I can remember though but it’s not because of his talent but of his story. I mean when you’re a kid and you learned that the Don McLean songย “Starry Starry Night”ย was inspired by an artist who chopped his ear off, that will certainly make a big impact on you right? Starry Night of course became the first van Gogh artwork I have known. It was inevitable.

meet vincent van gogh experience

I’ve also recently just watched At Eternity’s Gate on Netflix which showed van Gogh’s final years in Arles, France which is where this immersive experience started. There’s a huge screen which walks you through van Gogh’s final thoughts and memories. You are given an audio guide which detects where you are in the gallery and automatically plays to explain what you’re looking at or what you’re experiencing.

Note: Some of the videos triggered my vertigo so that’s a warning for you if you do get it as often as I do.

meet vincent van gogh experience

It was divided into different years of van Gogh’s life and you are then shown the most important bits of his life during that time. Some people have said that it isn’t very interactive but I went there with no expectations whatsoever and what I saw and experienced was something very different from a normal museum visit.

meet vincent van gogh experience

There are areas where you can try your hand at sketching using van Gogh’s technique of using a grid, it gives you a sense of perspective of what you’re sketching. Surprisingly, I remember my brother using a grid of some sort in his sketches when I was a kid. I didn’t know my brother’s a genius for using van Gogh’s technique. :p

van gogh's grid technique at meet vincent van gogh experience
Artists trying van Gogh's grid technique.

There’s also an area where you can try your hand at drawing a self-portrait using van Gogh’s color palette. I was impressed to see kids having a go at it but this man right here is doing the best work I think.

an artist drawing a self-portrait at meet vincent van gogh experience
This artist's self-portrait is on point! ๐Ÿ™‚
kids trying to draw a self-portrait at meet vincent van gogh experience
Kids doing a self-portrait, I'm seriously impressed! :p

Some areas show the magnified version of van Gogh’s work, the intricate and individual strokes of his art is quite enigmatic to see. You’re seeing the tiny strokes up close which created beautiful masterpieces that are now worth millions. If only I had a bit of artistic talent in me, I might have started painting after my visit here.

meet vincent van gogh experience
meet vincent van gogh experience
yes! you're allowed to touch it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I do have to agree that the most immersive experience out of this was the replica of van Gogh’s painting “Bedroom in Arles” where people were having their photos taken of course, including myself. :p

the bedroom in arles painting at meet vincent van gogh experience
The Bedroom in Arles painting.
meet vincent van gogh experience
and here's the lifesize replica ๐Ÿ™‚
meet vincent van gogh experience
and then there's me, inserting myself into the painting :p

There was also a shadow play of Gaugin and van Gogh’s tumultous friendship which I already saw from the movie At Eternity’s Gate. I do think that if I didn’t see the movie beforehand, I would have felt a bit lost during the shadow play.

shadow play of van gogh and gaugin's friendship meet vincent van gogh experience

The next few areas were mostly the audio guide at work and some documentary-style movies that you can watch from a TV screen so close to where you’re sitting that it gave me vertigo once again. Lol. I’m a weirdo I know.

meet vincent van gogh experience

I enjoyed the Meet Vincent van Gogh experience immensely, I admit that I’m not much into art which may or may not give justice as to how I felt about it. It’s only in London until 21 May 2020 so if you’re around, why not drop by and let me know what you think. Tickets are priced at GBP18.00 per person and you might have to allot at least 2 hours for this visit. For more information, visit their website

Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience

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  • Reply Paula Barrio Lopez May 15, 2020 at 11:43

    Hello! I am a MA student making my dissertation about the experience of visitors to immersive art exhibitions and, in particular, Meet Vincent van Gogh. Even though the exhibition is closed at the moment I decided to go ahead with the project but I need your help. I would like to interview people who already visited the exhibition. This would be completely anonymous and, due to the current circumstances, the interviews would be done online or by phone.

    The idea is to help other organisations to create this kind of exhibitions, to know the motivations of visitors, how they live the experience and what they feel so they can create more and better ones in the future. Please leave a comment if you can help me out. Thank you!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High May 21, 2020 at 17:28

      Hi Paula, yes I’d be happy to help. Will prefer the online one and you can send it to pinayflyinghigh[at]gmail[dot]com Thank you.

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