Pullman Yards hosts an immersive experience.

By Jennifer Bradley Franklin
June 02, 2021
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For someone who hasn't put brush to canvas in more than a century, Vincent Van Gogh is having a serious moment, spurred along by the jaw-dropping Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, which has officially made its stateside debut in Atlanta.

The stunning exhibition, for which more than 225,000 tickets have already been sold, includes moving projections, an ethereal soundtrack, virtual reality, 3D recreations of some of the places that inspired him, and poignant historical insights into his life. The show gained international popularity in Europe and Asia. Atlanta marks its first in North America, to be followed by other cities including Dallas, Houston, and Miami in the coming months.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience Atlanta
Credit: Official Photo: Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

One of the most memorable elements is a cavernous room where some of the Dutch post-impressionist artist's best-loved works are projected onto the two-story-tall walls. "To get reconnected with Van Gogh's work and life story by this unique exhibition is an amazing opportunity," says Atlanta resident Josh Antenucci, who visited during the exhibit's first week. "The immersion experience, a 360-degree projection display with phenomenal audio track, is the highlight."

Visitors who want to take a deep dive into the tortured artist's life will enjoy painting reproductions and placards with detailed information about his process, inspiration, travels, and, sadly, the mental health struggles that led to his untimely death at 37. In just a decade, he created more than 2,000 pieces of art, including around 860 oil paintings. For those who want to simply be entertained, the exhibit is a feast for the senses. Guests can watch as projections transform a vase sculpture into 3D approximations of some of the artist's most famous floral paintings and a bust of the artist's face that morphs into his iconic self-portraits.

Other highlights include an optional virtual reality experience that takes viewers through the French countryside that prompted eight of his quintessential paintings and the chance to color a Van Gogh-inspired original to take home.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience Atlanta
Credit: Official Photo: Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

The May launch of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience also marks a debut of sorts for the Pullman Yards. The historical industrial complex in Atlanta's Kirkwood neighborhood was originally developed in 1904 and was where the Pullman Car Company customized its luxurious rail cars. The 27-acre site was vacant for more than two decades before being purchased in 2017 by Atomic Entertainment, owned by husband-and-wife film producers Adam Rosenfelt and Maureen Meulen. Movie buffs may recognize the 27-acre property as a filming location for Baby Driver, Hunger Games, and Fast & Furious.

"We've always seen the site as Industrial Revolution-meets-the-Digital Revolution," Meulen says. "[The Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience] is a world-class experience; they've knocked it out of the park. It perfectly aligns with our long-term vision to be a thriving arts-driven destination."

From a new LEGO kit inspired by Van Gogh's celebrated 1889 painting, The Starry Night, to the multi-sensory Van Gogh Alive exhibit coming to the Biltmore in Asheville later this year, it's clear that the artist's popularity shows no signs of slowing.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience Atlanta will run through the end of 2021. Timed reservations are sold for scheduled dates. Standard tickets start at $19.10 for children and $32.20 for adults. Learn more and purchase tickets at vangoghexpo.com/atlanta/.