Into Van Gogh

It’s not unusual for one artist’s work to serve as the grist for another artist’s mill. However, few artists have their works “reimagined” as frequently or as creatively as Vincent van Gogh. Artists all over the world are still very much into reworking his iconic paintings.

For example, check out this surreal 360° video of a hot air balloon that’s a faithful 3D reproduction of Van Gogh’s famous Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat.


It was commissioned to promote the King Valley Balloon Festival (Australia, June 7 – 10).
Giant hot air balloon with the face of Vincent van Gogh sails through the skies of Melbourne (Adam McCleery, Daily Mail Australia)

There is also an exhibit at the Atelier des Lumières in Paris that invites attendees to walk “into” Van Gogh’s Starry Night and other works. Here’s a one minute promo.

That clip was a good introduction to the exhibit, but it didn’t convey the atmosphere of the experience as well as this next clip featuring Don McLean’s Vincent.

Starry Night runs through December, so if you’re in Paris, you can step into it for yourself.

If you’re sad that you can’t step into that Starry Night, then here’s a 360° video that let’s you do it right now to help you feel better.

The highlight of that clip was going into Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles, which is one of his works that’s been “reimagined” almost as often as Starry Night.

The Art Institute of Chicago had quite a bit of fun with it when they were promoting their exhibit Van Gogh Bedrooms back in 2016. They went so far as to create a replica of Van Gogh’s bedroom and then list it on Airbnb. Here’s a two minute clip and a news story about how “thousands of people let themselves into van Gogh’s bedroom.”


Art Institute re-creates Van Gogh’s bedroom to rent on Airbnb (Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune)

Alas, that opportunity is no longer available, but you can step into this 360° video now.

That video is a recording of a 3D model by Sokolovsky Ruslan posted on Sketchfab.

His model was also used to create a “virtual door” into Van Gogh’s bedroom with the augmented reality app ARLOOPA. Here’s a short clip of users stepping into the painting.

The above examples have gone hand-in-hand with some creative uses of technology, but now here’s a fun low-tech take on Starry Night by YouTube sensation FlippyCat.

Of course, Van Gogh is not the only artist to have his work reimagined, and lately there’s been a trend to recreate the works of other famous artists in 3D formats. The resulting 360° videos are captivating, and here’s a page on Cosma dedicated to sharing what I’ve dubbed walk-in-art.

Finally, here’s my own little 360° experiment with walk-in-art. It’s an Art Gallery that I made as part of a series of Toy Worlds to serve as 3D visual interfaces to Cosma (see post).

Click “i” buttons to “enter” the painting and find out “about” it (works best in Chrome).

Like my other Toy Worlds, this was made by taking a shot of a diorama with a RICOH Theta 360° camera and uploading it to RoundMe.

Here are my earlier posts about “walk-in-art,” but beware, it’s easy to get lost in 360° art!
Magical Paintings
Art Revisited II
Art Revisited

Find out more about visual arts in general…