"After Berlin, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Seoul, Singapore and Warsaw, it’s time for Krakow – a city closely associated with art and culture. The long awaited Van Gogh Alive – The Experience is open for viewers since 20thof August at The Old Train Station in Krakow" - this is how the site for this lovely exhibition sells itself (and rather short! as I truly enjoyed the story that the expo tells). The exhibition is open only until 20th of November so better buy your ticket now! You can buy them online (quick and easy) or at the beginning of the expo. An adult ticket Monday to Friday costs 50 zloty and in the weekend it is 60 zloty. Students (under 26 years) and seniors (over 65 years old) can go for 40 zloty - 50 zloty. You can also go in groups of 10+ and there the price varies. Children under 6 years of age can go for free, accompanied by an adult.
The overall exhibition time is said to be of one hour - I cannot tell you if it takes that long... for me it took a bit over 2 hours as I went to the exhibition with my mum. All the expos, movies and moving image information is given in 2 languages: English and Polish. My mum understands a bit of English but Polish is not her thing, she speaks the language of sweet France, so I had the pleasure of enjoying this exhibition with her but I had to go slow and translate all the data - this is why it took me longer but you might go through it in under a hour. Van Gogh Alive Exhibition allows oneself to immerse yourself in Van Gogh's life and body of work - without having any physical painting displayed!
Developed by Grande Exhibitions, SENSORY4™ is a unique system that combines multichannel motion graphics, cinema quality surround sound and up to forty high-definition projectors to provide one of the most exciting multiscreen environments in the world. SENSORY4™ can transform any exhibition space to create a dynamic, informative and visually spectacular experience. Incredibly detailed images flow through the mass of projectors and merge with digital surround sound to saturate the space in a breathtaking immersive display.
I must admit I had heard about the expo before and re-read about it when it reached Warsaw and a dear friend of mine visited it and said "it's a must" if one catches it! When I heard that it would come to Krakow I was thrilled and at the same time a bit scared... I was due in August and I was not sure I would make it - to see it... considering I would have a small baby girl around me. Thank God Mum and Granny came and gave a helping hand! The exhibition went live in Krakow on the 20th of August - the very same day our little LadyBug Baby Girl was born! :) And we managed to reach it and see it on a rainy Monday afternoon, on 3rd of October. It's the perfect thing to do in a rainy day! Take a friend / loving family member and enjoy it!
The exhibition starts with a long corridor where on one side the story of the expo and Vincent's life history is told & on the other are some of his most important pieces showcased, with notes that make connection to his life. Here is where I found out that during his lifetime he had created over 2000 pieces of art - 800 paintings and the rest are drawings and sketches. He used to sketch on letters to his friends and family - especially to his dear brother (who died shortly after Vincent's suicide). Also in this corridor, at the very end, a live reproduction of the painting of Van Gogh's bedroom is done. It's remarkably well put together and when you look at it (or even take a picture of it, like I did) one would think it is a painting! Of course, when one looks closely you can see the difference and the points that don't match ;)
To get to the next section of the expo you must pass a long corridor that has long wide screens on both sides. Both sides display at the same time - in rotation - 4 paintings deeply connected to the life of Vincent. My personal favourites are 2 of the 4 displayed: Starry Night and the branch of cherry in Japanese style, done by Van Gogh when he heard his brother had a son - whom he named Vincent ;) there is something truly enchanting about this display as it makes something in the image/painting move. The next room is a visual and sound display telling Vincent's life through his paintings - with quotes from his letters attached. There is also a drawing room where one could exercise and learn how to draw nature and how to draw the human body. The final room is a display of Vincent's letters - with the background music of Delibes "Flower Duet". Overall a remarkable experience for the history buffs, art fans or... simply for one who likes to know more. I truly and sincerly recommend it! It is worth every penny (I mean zloty)!
P.S. For more Krakow - Van Gogh Alive Expo videos that I have taken, please check out this video-list ;) some may be with the audio turned off due to copyright issues, I am sorry for that! But do trust me when I say the exhibition is a moving experience - the combination of visual effects and the music is simply touching! Do feel free to ask me any questions you might have about it ;)
Yours very sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Art - Paintings - Exhibitions :)