By GRAHAM WALL
The story of Van Gogh is a tragic one.
Just like Bach, Dickinson, Mendel and countless others, he wasn’t recognised for his talent until long after his untimely death in 1890.
Fast forward to today and Van Gogh’s masterpieces are now highly sought after worldwide. His Dr. Gachet painting is one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at a whopping $82.5 million USD.
To celebrate the talented Dutch painter, there is a dedicated Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and in 2017 the world’s first fully painted feature film ‘Loving Vincent’ was released, commemorating his life and work.
But no experience quite captures a moment in Van Gogh’s life like the new virtual tour available through the Arloopa AR app.
In an elegant fusion of art and modern technology, the augmented reality app brought, arguably one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings – The Bedroom – to life through a truly immersive experience that allowed users to step into the painting from wherever they are standing.
The Bedroom is an artwork which depicts the room where the post-impressionist painter lived during his time in Arles. For those who admire Van Gogh, this painting is a deeply emotive insight into his life.
In the past, those who wanted to see ‘The Bedroom’ would have had to travel to Paris and navigate either the Musée D’Orsay or the Van Gogh Museum.
Now they can not only view the painting at the press of a button, they can also interact with it in a new and exciting way that’s never been done before.
Once in the app, users are able to select the AR Van Gogh experience and with a small movement to adjust the phone to the space, a doorway appears on the screen.
Through the doorway is a 3D version of the painted room. The colours and contents are easily recognised from Van Gogh’s originals, despite the modern digitalisation. Users can step across the threshold to peer around corners and take a closer look at any of the furniture or objects in the room.
They can also make photos, gifs and videos of the experience and use the social buttons in the app to share it with friends, amplifying its reach on social media.
Arloopa cleverly takes viewing a painting – a typically voyeuristic, 2D experience – and transforms it into a highly interactive and unforgettable experience for art and technology lovers.