Numerous visual artists and musical artists have been honored by a relatively new type of immersive experience which has become increasingly popular since COVID and lockdown changed our perceptions of our world. Ads for immersive experiences featuring Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, or Pink Floyd have frequently popped up on Instagram and Facebook news feeds over the past year. The idea is that when you attend one of these events, you are fully surrounded by and immersed in an imaginary, illusory world. A popular trend in the world of immersive experiences has focused on prominent painters such as Van Gogh and Klimt, whose bodies of work were intensely vibrant and unique.
The problem is that the Los Angeles versions of two of the immersive experiences I mentioned, Van Gogh and Monet, were complete disappointments. I attended the Van Gogh experience, and expected to be dazzled and amazed after paying $70 ($40 admission, $30 for a cushion to sit on) for the privilege of seeing the spectacle. Instead, I was annoyed by the long wait, lack of crowd organization, and the obstructive pillars which littered the viewing rooms. The cushion I was allowed to sit on during the 12 minute short film was on loan, not something which I could keep as a souvenir (not that I wanted the flimsy cushion anyway). The concrete floors were cold and hard, and the short film morphed and mutated Van Gogh’s works in such a way that it was impossible to experience the purity of the original images. My cousin and I were in and out of that venue within 30 minutes. I have heard similar negative feedback regarding the Monet experience.
Who else has been disappointed by art-related immersive experiences?