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I don’t need a lightshow to immerse myself in art

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Visuals for David Hockney’s “Gregory Swimming, Los Angeles, March 31st 1982”

Please call me an art snob if you don’t mind. old school. I reach out for it. I like to see works of art face-to-face and at the size and scale in which they were imagined and created. I could write a thousand words about all the reasons why I think this is essential, but I’ll spare you.

However, you can imagine: Van Gogh: an immersive experience, it’s a global blockbuster and rather a test for people like me. It’s like entering a huge warehouse where fragments of his work are projected onto the walls in each room. It blew up significantly with the soundtrack and such. A sunflower and an iris are separated from the painting in which they are drawn and float in the past. The cornfields sway madly, the door to his room opens and closes, the yellow chair floats, and the artist’s red beard is huge and intimidating. It’s all mega magnified. Immersive That’s right.

Of course I understand that. We fully understand the urge to dive headlong into the world of the painting, to wrap its magic around you like a living blanket, to smell it, smell it, taste it, hear it. If you actually see something, wouldn’t that happen anyway?

Vermeer takes us down the quiet, softly sunlit streets of Delft into a scrubbed interior that smells faintly soapy of linen press lavender. You can imagine the feel of a fur collar down your throat and the smell of glued lace being ironed.

Cézanne takes us through the Provençal countryside. Maki crouching at our feet, weary from the long walk to the distant hills, the light turning purple and gold around us, and a little smell of garlic on the wind as dinner draws near.

An Egon Schiele painting takes us to the backstreets of Vienna’s red-light district. Skinny, witty women make their living there, lit by skinny jazz, sour tobacco smoke, and the stench of sausage.

it’s all there. each of the five senses. And more recently, powerful immersive experiences created from the ground up as complete experiential works rather than extensions/corruptions of smaller original works, sensational wander-through works such as those by the Japanese collective teamLab, or Antony et al. There is an interactive installation of Gormley’s steamy exploratory work “Blind Light”.

But these are nothing like the reused “Immersion”. The gigantic building has a floor-to-ceiling light show of sunflowers detached from Vincent’s body, floating like balloons on the walls, surrounded by deep blue skies and starry skies in an entirely different picture. , for example. Are we at the Grateful Dead gig?

I don’t know, but millions of ticket buyers aren’t wrong. The citizens of London will have to make a new decision at the new venue. Lightroom, which describes itself as “home to epic artist-driven shows,” will open in the King’s Cross development on February 22, with David Hockney and other great artists reimagined as immersive digital his happenings. houses the program of the works of

A smart choice. First, let’s solve the big question — what would the artist have thought? Perhaps they didn’t care or even enjoyed it, especially if they were paying rent. The poverty-stricken Van Gogh probably could not have imagined working on a huge canvas. If possible, would he have done it?I am old school, but I feel that the artist has always adapted his vision to his situation and his message to the medium. But we can’t answer these questions for a deceased artist.

Hockney stands in a room covered in images of people swimming in a pool, wearing a brown suit, flat cap, and yellow plastic clogs.

David Hockney in Lightroom © Justin Sutcliffe

Hockney is different. Thankfully he’s here to make decisions in the present tense.in a program called Bigger & Closer (Not Smaller, Farther)his landscapes and swimmers that Lightroom features on monumental walls, giant slides of sky and trees, transformational panels are entirely intended. His process and paint strokes, his colors and effects The stack unfolds before us and swells to gigantic proportions. Scored by

Yes, spectacular, but coherent. In Hockney’s career, he has impeccable logic. He is always embracing new technology, from unforgettable Polaroid pieces (perhaps the best use of the format yet), to works made with camera, film, video, iPad, Instagram, and more. This is the latest iteration and you can feel the artists having fun from a distance. Perhaps even an older student like me would agree.

Jan Dalley is FT’s Art Editor.

“Bigger & Closer (not small & far away)”, February 22-June 4, lightroom.jp

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