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Date night: A starry night you can stroll through

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Have you ever looked at The Yellow House or Farmhouse in Provence and thought, “wow, how romantic it would be to walk around inside of this painting”?

Previously, this thought was a mere fantasy — only possible if our dimension were to collide with that of Super Mario 64. Now, thanks to Imagine Van Gogh, that fantasy is pretty close to attainable, without the need for extradimensional castles.

Created by French artistic duo Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, Imagine Van Gogh is an art gallery, but not one of those boring old ones with all the small paintings hung on big, white walls. Here, images of over 200 Vincent Van Gogh paintings are projected to cover entire rooms — walls and floor. The images are blown up, and are projected multiple times, to make Van Gogh’s famous landscapes appear as scenes you can walk around in, while his still-lifes become giant, even more surreal versions of themselves. On top of the room-sized paintings, the gallery also has “immersive audio,” reads a description on the gallery’s website, to further bring the paintings to life.

Viewers will be “immersed in an extraordinary experience where all senses become fully awakened,” the description continues.

And if that description is not grandiose enough to get you interested, a press release announcing the gallery’s upcoming arrival in Edmonton says “the exhibit brings Van Gogh’s canvases to life in a vivid, spectacular way: the audience will literally enter the artist’s world of dreams.”

Before you go back to fantasizing about fictional worlds colliding with our own, I’m almost certain the person who wrote the press release meant to say it is as though you are entering Van Gogh’s dreams, and not literally entering his subconsciousness Being John Malkovich-style.

Imagine Van Gogh first opened in Europe, and has been making its way through Canada. It’s been to Montreal, Quebec City, and Winnipeg, and is opening in Vancouver on March 19, 2021. It’s coming to Edmonton at an unannounced time this March, at the Edmonton EXPO Centre.

Organizers of the gallery told Global News the Vancouver iteration saw record-breaking sales, and is currently sold out, so if you want to have a date inside of Van Gogh’s paintings, it’s probably a good idea to register for the pre-sale as soon as possible, which you can do on the gallery’s website. The price of an Edmonton ticket is not yet listed, but they went for between $31.50 to $81.38 in Winnipeg and $34.99 to $99.99 in Vancouver, according to To Do Canada, a tourism guide website.

The gallery will be opening with public health protocols related to COVID in place. A limited number of guests will be let into the gallery at any given time, will be required to stay at least two meters apart and wear masks, and hand sanitizer will be available, the news release reads.

“The exhibition will adhere to all safety guidelines established by the Alberta government.”

Image courtesy of Laurence Labat.

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