It’s behind you. It’s above you. It’s at your feet. It’s stretched all around you, as far as the eye can see. Stepping into “Beyond Van Gogh,” an immersive exhibit running through March 6th at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, is like plunging headfirst into the whimsical world of Vincent Van Gogh. There’s nothing to grab onto but your own reckless will to abandon reason and venture off into the mind of a troubled and ingenious artist.
Visitors will enjoy the history and insight into the Dutch post-Impressionist artist who died at the age of 37. Through large art text pieces outlining his background, onlookers will experience his pain and loneliness, a painter who success never found, a visionary who no one ever seemed to “get.”
But one is touched by the peek into his soul afforded by several quotes, such as, “Love always causes trouble. That’s true, but in its favor, it energizes.”
Most striking of all is the beauty. It’s hard not to gasp at the otherworldly presentation of Van Gogh’s work: a waterfall of glitter invites you into a large space undulating with bursting sunflowers, the poignant, bored gaze of self-portraits, and peeping with bright, winsome stars and night scapes.
Is there anywhere better to relax and reflect than under the electric, adoring sky of a Starry Night?
I am left, wondering this: for someone who was rarely appreciated for his artistry or his vision, who was overlooked and overshadowed by his contemporaries, who lived a life of such pain that he cut off his own ear … this penniless painter, if he could look down today and see dozens of people sitting down on the floor in awe, surrounded by his art from 360 degrees, silenced and awed by his grandeur, would he smile?
I hope so.
For tickets, visit vangoghsandiego.com.