Art Around the World with Mrs. O: Beyond van Gogh

Art Around the World with Mrs. O: Beyond van Gogh

Mrs. O had the wonderful opportunity to visit this truly spectacular event right in her home town! The Vincent van Gogh San Diego is an experience that allows you to immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s artwork like you’ve never seen it before.

In an imaginative and immersive presentation crafted for our unique times by world renowned audiovisual designers, Beyond Van Gogh uses cutting-edge projection technology to create an engaging journey into the world of Van Gogh. Using his dreams, his thoughts, and his words to drive the experience as a narrative, we move along projection swathed walls wrapped in light, colour, and shapes that swirl, dance and refocus into flowers, cafes and landscapes. Masterpieces, now freed from frames, come alive, appear and disappear, flow across multi-surfaces, the minutia of details titillating our heightened senses. Through his own words set to a symphonic score, we may come to a new appreciation of this tortured artist’s stunning work.


Vincent van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundest, Holland. The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in a dreary mining district in Belgium, where he was dismissed for over-zealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit genre paintings. In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery. In Paris van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and nightlong discussions, combined with painting all day, undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles, where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him, but with disastrous results. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin and ended by cutting off his own ear. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity, and was sent to the asylum in Saint- Remy for treatment. In May of 1890 he seemed much better and went to live in Auverssur-Oise. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself “for the good of all.” During his brief career he had sold only one painting. Van Gogh’s finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh’s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful, dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain his struggle against madness and his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.

Arts Attack celebrates Vincent van Gogh in many lessons throughout our K-8 Curriculum. In our kindergarten lesson, Starry Night, students study the artwork and the artist and then re-create their own rendition of the famous artwork.


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