LIVING THE DREAM: ‘Van Gogh Alive’ in Aurora reveals new take on artist’s life, masterworks

Viewers take in the new Van Gogh Alive exhibit during a media preview, July 8, at the Hangar at Stanley, at the Stanley market Place. The exhibit is a multi-sensory experience showcasing some of Van Gogh’s most famous works.
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

AURORA | Stepping into the mind of Vincent Van Gogh would be maddening. The 19th century artist most famous for Starry Night suffered nervous breakdowns, cut off his own ear in distress, spent a year in an asylum and then died by suicide in 1890.

It’s perhaps the reason why a room of giant scale images of Van Gogh’s most famous works is so mesmerizing.

Van Gogh Alive, on display at the Hangar inside Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace now through Sept. 26, offers patrons a vision of the artist’s work in an immersive exhibit that projects the artist’s most popular works onto canvases throughout the pop-up gallery.

Creators of the exhibit say it’s a way to “truly venture into his world.”

Van Gogh became a painter at the age of 27. First a peasant painter, the Dutch artist eventually moved to Paris to develop his craft. After a few years under the influence of modern art and city life, Van Gogh became tired of his fast-paced surroundings and boarded a train. He landed in the south of France. The next year in Arles would be considered his most turbulent. The morning after Van Gogh’s ear incident, he was admitted to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy.

While in the mental hospital, Van Gogh continued to work. Starry Night was inspired by the view from his window. He completed nearly 150 other works in Saint-Rémy, some copies of prints and others impressive still lifes like “Irises.”

Viewing Van Gogh’s most influential works would take art patrons around the world, from New York’s Museum of Modern Art to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh Alive, presented by the Denver Center for Performing Arts, brings them all to one place. It’s one of two traveling Van Gogh exhibits visiting metro Denver this year. The other, which opens September 30, is also an “immersive” experience, draping guests in vibrant colors and inviting them into the world of a creative genius.

Classical music and a specially-formulated scent diffused throughout Van Gogh Alive round out the multi-sensory experience. Cypress, cedar, nutmeg, lemon and vetiver are used to transport the visitor into the countryside setting of many of Van Gogh’s paintings.

“Van Gogh Alive has really redefined the way many people around the world engage in art and culture and it has brought tremendous joy to audiences old and young,” creator Bruce Peterson said of the exhibit in a news release. “Interestingly we were last here in Denver in 2019 with the very successful Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius Exhibition held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I hope Van Gogh Alive is every bit as enjoyable and successful for the city.”

The Hangar at Stanley features a bar to accompany the exhibit, and a “selfie room” designed after the post-impressionists famous sunflower stills puts visitors in their own yellow field.


If You Go

July 9 through September 26

Tickets: Starting at $35

Children 4 and under free

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Dennis Duffy
Dennis Duffy
1 year ago

This is a third hand bad joke, if you want to see artistry go see the original not some computer generated light show. I have seen the original paintings and I know why he is respected. I think this is insulting..

Someone White Nationalists Hate
Someone White Nationalists Hate
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis Duffy

Your comment is far more revolting and snide. The only point you intended to make was that you have seen the originals.

::::slow clap::: Woohoo for you … whatever.

Most Americans do not have enough money and time to travel overseas. For $35 they can have an immersive EXPERIENCE. They may not see the original paintings. They WILL have a chance to see and feel his art in different, creative way.

Hot air is no replacement for actually going to the exhibit in order to share a cogent, knowledgeable opinion.

Dennis Duffy
Dennis Duffy
1 year ago

You deserve the fake show go and worship it.

Someone White Nationalists Hate
Someone White Nationalists Hate
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis Duffy

What a silly, childish response with poor grammar to match. Yes, I will go and enjoy the experience while you sit and get angry about what other people do. So, when you brush your teeth every morning you will think about me at the Van Gogh show having fun. You will try not to, but I am in your head apparently 🤷🏿‍♀️ .