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The power of art...and projection

Who is your favorite artist? Was there an artist you encountered along the way who changed how you thought about drawing and painting or what you wanted to say or do with your art? For me, it was and has always been Vincent. You know the one I mean.

Most of us get to know Vincent Van Gogh early in life. Prints of his artwork are everywhere in homes and offices. Images from Vincent's art have morphed onto other surfaces--coffee mugs, notebooks, calendars. Because his life and art hit a common nerve in our collective humanity, he also gets taught in elementary schools lucky enough to still have art education programs. Little kids paint sunflowers like Vincent or draw their bedrooms in full color. So, it is not surprising that Vincent was chosen as a featured artist to exhibit via projection technology. The business behind such an exhibition requires the talent and effort of a blend of graphic artists, technical engineers, and event planners (among others) to bring an innovative and breath-taking experience to life.

I had the pleasure this past week of seeing the Beyond Van Gogh Exhibit at the Portland Convention Center which felt like a grown-up rave. If you haven't experienced a visual concert, you must go see this just to update yourself to the possibilities of technology and fine art merging. Modern tech has been used to photograph, edit and project Vincent's painting onto large walls and panels which gives a whole new perspective on the paintings and the brush strokes inside them, creating an intimacy with the art that is unexpected and dazzling. The music editing which accompanies the "concert" portion of the exhibit was quite good and adds another artistic layer to an already rich experience. There is a reading of quotations from Vincent's letters to his brother Theo sprinkled throughout in English and French which also is transporting. You have an odd feeling of not knowing where you are in the universe or in the chronology of time as the whole thing plays out. The gallery of slides that precedes the projection display provides an excellent background to illuminate the artist and his work. I felt like I was inside the paintings and was overwhelmed by the colors and movement as one painting transitioned into another. Certain tasteful editorial liberties were taken to animate the paintings here and there. The artwork came to life with a spirit Vincent and Theo would have been proud of. After experiencing this art event, I imagine attending the more usual art exhibitions will be somewhat less thrilling. Well, I hope not. Time to remember that the origin of the whole gorgeous high-tech art exhibition began with not so large but exquisite paintings made of oil and canvas.

So, the Beyond Van Gogh Exhibition is highly recommended.

If you are interested in learning how to paint sunflowers like Van Gogh, contact me through the website.

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