EDMONTON — While touching an original piece of Vincent Van Gogh’s work is prohibited in museums and galleries, an exhibit at Southgate Centre allowed a number of visually impaired children a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the Dutch master’s art.
Van Gogh work fetches over $66 million at New York auction
Long-lost Van Gogh painting identified
Vincent van Gogh, John Lennon letters among historical papers coming to US auction
Denver Art Museum’s van Gogh exhibit focuses on how artist developed his signature style
Van Gogh was known for his bold, dramatic brush strokes, which are oftentimes lost when a piece is replicated. But the pieces at the Van Gogh Museum Edition Collection at Southgate Centre have been specially produced to recreate those strokes.
During a special event put on by the mall and the exhibit, members of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind were able to touch the pieces.
“I think they’re pretty cool. I like the feeling of the bumps and how they feel like they’re real stuff,” said nine-year-old Matthew Silvius, who is completely blind.
“I like the feeling of those clouds.”
Conor Pilz with the CNIB said it’s a rare change for his young clients to appreciate art and enrich their creative sides.
“This would be once in a lifetime, I would say. The opportunity to touch a Van Gogh is something that no one will ever have,” said Pilz.
In order to properly replicate the strokes, a silk, rubbery cloth is placed over an original piece of Van Gogh’s work to creative a negative of the painting. That negative is taken to a photography shop where a 3D printer is used to print the piece on a canvas. From there, colour specialists spend months on each piece, getting the colours of the painting just right.
“You can actually feel… how he actually made those brush strokes and it gives a different dimension to the painting,” said Stefanye Kaltenvrunner, executive assistant at Tribute International, the media and entertainment company behind the exhibit at Southgate Centre.
“You can really feel what he tried to express and I think for someone that’s visually impaired, they can actually experience art for the first time.”
The pop-up exhibit runs at Southgate Centre until Nov. 15.