A Five-Storey Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Hits Toronto in May

The multimedia art show will be housed in a former Toronto Star printing plant.


Credit: Wikimedia Commons.


Starting in May, the familiar, trippy and swirled starry night by Vincent Van Gogh will be laid out at your feet. Visitors of the new Immersive Van Gogh Exhibition to be launched in Toronto this spring will be able to walk on, inside and through the oil and pastel landscapes.

The Dutch post-Impressionist artist’s works will be brought to life through sound, light and projections in the former Toronto Star newspaper printing plant that was left vacant since 1992. Some works that will be included in the show are Starry Night, Sunflowers and The Potato Eaters.

The project is described as a “stunning projection animating the masters’ oeuvre and illuminating the mind of the genius.”

“Wander through giant projections that highlight brushstroke, detail, and colour as you have never experienced them,” says the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibition website.

This will be a Lighthouse Immersive creation. The exhibit was designed by creative director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi and features music by composer Luca Longobardi.

They worked together previously on the Atelier des Lumières, another immersive Van Gogh art show that was shown in Paris. It had over two million visitors, according to its website.

This isn’t the first multimedia or immersive exhibit featuring the works of Van Gogh – but it will be huge. The show will measure over 600, 000 cubic feet.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.


Van Gogh is certainly trending lately.

Besides the Atelier des Lumieres show held in Paris last year, another immersive exhibit ran in Brussels. In fact, there is currently another one on display in Montreal.

The Dutch painter’s life and work have been re-explored in recent years by film directors, art historians and even comedians.

The 2018 film At Eternity’s Gate starring Willem Dafoe dramatized Van Gogh’s life. A year earlier, there was a 2017 animated biography called Loving Vincent.

Additionally, comedian Hannah Gadsby’s 2018 Netflix special “Nanette” put the spotlight on Van Gogh’s mental health issues with some art history facts. His epilepsy medication was made with a derivative of the foxglove flower and one of the side effects of taking too much foxglove is experiencing the colour yellow with intensity.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Gift of Adele R. Levy, 1958)


The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit also seeks to bridge that gap between the notion of artistic genius and tortured artist. It also juxtaposes a historically industrial space with the “magic” of digital beauty and art.

“Experience the organic landscapes of Van Gogh’s imagination, and ride the rollercoaster of Van Gogh’s brilliance and madness,” says the website.

“It is astonishing in scale, breathtakingly imaginative, and a completely new look at the master’s work.”

Tickets for the show go on sale February 7 and start at $39.99. You can buy them and find out more details about the exhibit at vangoghexhibit.ca.