Sunday, August 15, 2021

Angels and Irises

 In the past 2 weeks I have had the opportunity to take advantage of 2 incredible experiences. One was the traveling Michelangelo exhibit on the Sistine Chapel. The walls and ceilings of the famous chapel in Rome have been recreated on enormous canvases. When you walk into the exhibit it is as if you are walking into the chapel itself. But, one advantage is that you are closer to the art. The ceiling is lower, allowing you to see the incredible detail of the artist's work.   

I traveled to Europe while I was in college. However, at that particular time, there were some issues in Italy and the US State Department was not encouraging Americans traveling there. So I made my grand tour sans Italy and therefore missed the Vatican. This exhibit allowed me to see what I missed, just more up close and in person. If you have the opportunity to experience this, do, it will be well worth your time.


Although we missed Italy, we did visit Amsterdam. While there we went to the Van Gogh Museum which was an incredible experience. This past week I visited the traveling Van Gogh Immersive Experience in Charlotte. I was not disappointed at all. This is set-up in an old warehouse. It is described as "immersive" because you are truly "immersed" into Van Gogh's most famous paintings. Sitting in this dark room, his paintings are projected on the walls (and sometimes floors). 

You are looking at a wall with green leaves and purple irises. Slowly as the picture enlarges you soon find yourself in his Iris painting among-st the purple flowers.

That fades and fields of golden hay appear and the black crows "fly" in. Then the crows leave, and workers and hay stacks appear to move you from one masterpiece into another.

At one point the walls go black, then slowly turn dark navy. Slowly stars appear and you find yourself in "Starry Night".  And on it goes. You truly have to be there to appreciate it. I found that this method allows one to pay more attention to the details of his work. 

For instance, a hand pouring a cup of tea appears and the picture widens to show a table surrounded by diners and you are "in" the Potato Eaters - at the table. And, then there are the sunflowers.

If you have the chance, take advantage of one or both of these exhibits, especially the Van Gogh Experience. In today's madding world, for just an hour or so, it is nice to lose yourself in the brush strokes and color of a master. 


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