Van Gogh comes to life at Samanea New York in Westbury


You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a painting.

A new interactive exhibit featuring the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh has made its way to Westbury with Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.

The idea is that visitors can be in the artwork and immerse themselves in more than 300 of his pieces. Van Gogh, a post-impressionist Dutch artist, is known for hundreds of different portraits and scenes — including “Starry Night.”

When you who walk into “Beyond Van Gogh,” you start off learning about the troubled and talented artist. You are able to read letters to and from his brother Theo on large, canvas-backed screens. Dozens of them offer insights into his upbringing, his passions and, of course, the famous incident when he cut his ear.

The history lesson leads into the unique “Waterfall Room,” which flows into the Immersive Experience Room. Freed from their frames, Van Gogh’s paintings appear on projection-swathed walls inviting guests to fully immerse themselves into the incredible detail of his work and be enveloped in his ever-shifting, swirling and colorful flowers, cafes and stunning landscapes.

This large room is covered from floor to ceiling in artwork, making a standard two-dimensional viewing now three-dimensional.

But it’s more than just standing in the middle of “Café Terrace at Night.”

On top of the rotating images, you begin hearing the artist’s own dreams —  voiced by actor Colm Feore — thoughts and words set to a symphonic score that drives an unmatched narrative experience. The film rotates so you can see everything from beginning to end.

“Beyond Van Gogh” opened March 17 at Samanea New York (previously known as The Source Mall) located at 1500 Old Country Road in Westbury. The exhibit, produced by Paquin Entertainment Group, has sold over 4 million tickets globally, making it one of the most popular current traveling exhibitions.

Photos of the exhibit by Julianne Mosher