Van Gogh’s art experience worth your time


Maddie Johnson

Visitors experience the Van Gogh exhibit in the main room of the Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germania Club in Chicago in November.

The employee ushers you through a tall black curtain, and you walk into a lightless room. Low chatter surrounds you as you find a spot in an unfamiliar, windowless room. You quietly sit on the cold wood floors. It begins. 

Music, lights, history, art projecting all around you. Every wall and surface is a different point of view of art by Vincent Van Gogh. 

The experience is called the “Vincent Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit.” It is at the Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germania Club in Chicago, and had its debut on Feb. 11, 2021. 

The building in itself has so much history which really gives you a feel for the art around you. According to the Van Gogh Chicago website, “Germania Place is a historic building in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago and includes a dramatic ballroom with 35 foot ceilings.” 

This grand building was built in 1888.

 “The distinctive Victoria-era architecture and abundance of ornamental detail stand-out in downtown Chicago,” according to the website

The creator, Massimiliano Siccardi, has produced immersive exhibits for 30years with around 2 million visitors to his exhibits in Paris, according to website Van Gogh Exhibit New York. With 500,000 cubic feet of projections, 60,600 frames of video, 90,000,000 pixels, he has created a life changing experience. 

This is for anyone – an art lover or not – it is an amazing thing to be a part of. The music playing in the background brings the art to life. There are a total of 16 songs in the exhibit.

 “Sing” by Guy Sigsworth drew me in. This song with the specific art pieces really made the exhibit. When this song played it easily became my favorite part. I was speechless. The offsetting feeling it creates makes it so surreal. Towards the end of the song specifically was my favorite part when the high pitched singing turned into a soothing song. 

It isn’t just art projected on a wall. It is in movement. The paintings come to life, they drip, fall apart, smear, flash, piece together. It feels like you are watching them be created. 

Not a single wall in this four room exhibit is blank. You can watch it as many times as you would like. The video projected is 35 minutes long. It has a few minutes in between so you can move anywhere you’d like to see the video in a new way. The video is on repeat. 

There are four rooms in total, some with mirror stands, some with seating in the middle, and some with nothing at all. There is also a balcony to see the biggest room from above and even the walls on the balcony have projections. 

The beginning of the experience is very off-putting and can leave an eerie feeling in the air, but once you get to the end, it leaves you in awe. 

Everything about this exhibit is beautiful. I would not change a thing about it. 

You can purchase merchandise with Van Gogh’s art on it –from T-shirts, to teddy bears. 

Along with the gift shop items you are allowed to take photos and videos in the exhibit to have the experience at home with you. I love that they allowed this because it is a better way of explaining such a complicated amazing exhibit, words could never explain the amount of feeling and detail this exhibit holds and leaves its guests with.