OMFG there are two van Gogh events coming to Detroit, please stop emailing us

Apr 8, 2021 at 9:51 am
click to enlarge “Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience” is not to be confused with “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Detroit.” - Courtesy of “Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience”
Courtesy of “Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience”
“Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience” is not to be confused with “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Detroit.”

Listen — understanding art can be confusing. Whether you're trying to figure out what an artist was thinking when they painted a particular subject or trying to figure out if that pile of trash on the ground is actually conceptual art or, like, just a pile of trash, art is meant to get us thinking and feeling. But what is more confusing than art? Perhaps two competing art events promising the same “immersive experience” profiting off of a beloved artist who died penniless more than 130 years ago.

If you haven't figured it out already, there are, in fact, two different projection-based events honoring the work and legacy of Vincent van Gogh coming to Detroit, and we have no idea why.

First, there's “Immersive van Gogh Exhibit Detroit,” which runs from October through February. As far as immersive van Gogh exhibits go, this is the OG, and the one you may have seen on Netflix's Emily in Paris. This exhibit, designed and conceived by Massimiliano Siccardi with a soundtrack by Luca Longobardi, is described as a multi-sensory experience with 500,000 cubic feet — and 90,000,000 pixels — of larger-than-life projections ripped straight van Gogh's portfolio.

No location has been announced, but according to the website, the event will take over a “secret venue” in the heart of Detroit. Tickets for this event start at $39.99 and can be purchased at

There is also “Beyond van Gogh: An Immersive Experience.” Confused? Uh, yeah, us, too. This event, which kicks off on June 25 and runs through mid-August, will take place at Detroit's TCF Center. Per the press release, this immersive event will display 300 van Gogh paintings “now freed from their frames.” Wait, what? The press release also states that van Gogh's work will disappear, reappear, and flow across multiple surfaces, and will be paired with a symphonic score so “guests come to a new appreciation of this tortured artist’s stunning work.”

You know what else is tortured? Two van Gogh events profiting off of a sad dead guy's art. Anyway, tickets appear to start at $32.99 and can be purchased through

OK — so technically there are three van Gogh exhibits coming to town, but the Detroit Institute of Arts' edition isn't until 2022. “Van Gogh in America,” will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the DIA's purchase of the artist's 1887 “Self-Portrait.”

Thank you for coming to our TEDTalk. Now, Gogh away.

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