Van Gogh Alive (Barely) / Van Gogh Viva (Apenas)

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

WE WENT TO Málaga Friday afternoon to catch Van Gogh Alive before it left town. A traveling show in a temporary building, it was only here until Sunday before heading to Valencia.

As an art student, I studied Van Gogh. I read Van Gogh. Sometimes I wanted to BE Van Gogh with all his talent and his even greater tragedies. San Geraldo and I had seen videos and images of the brilliant, engaging exhibit from Amsterdam and Paris and didn’t want to miss it.

The traveling exposition was nothing like what we had seen online. In my opinion at least, “Van Gogh Constrained and Sedentary” would be a better name. We expected to be surrounded by and walking among giant projected imagery accompanied by powerful classical music. What we got instead were bean bag chairs and some backless benches for sitting and viewing shimmying screens (air currents made them shake and one projector was off-kilter) and constrained floor panels. We left extremely disappointed.

We took the train into Málaga’s main station (Maria Zambrano) and taxied from there. On the way home, however, there were no taxis by the lighthouse at the end of the port where the exhibit was housed. We started walking. It’s a bit of a hike from the lighthouse to the main road. No taxis. So we continued walking to the nearest train station (Centro Alameda). More than a half hour. It’s not easy to get San Geraldo to do one of these treks. It was hot and sunny. The wind was blowing and the pollen was visible and blasting our faces and eyes. I told him he didn’t need to bring a hat because we wouldn’t be outside for long. San Geraldo didn’t OPENLY complain but, I feel like I wasted a chit!

Still, if we didn’t find the exhibit itself engaging, I thought the way some of the audience, although stationary, were absorbed into the images was quite arty.


FUIMOS A MÁLAGA el viernes para ver “Van Gogh Alive” (Van Gogh Viva) antes de que saliera de la ciudad. Un espectáculo itinerante en un edificio temporal, solo estuvo aquí hasta el domingo antes de dirigirse a Valencia.

Como estudiante de arte, estudié Van Gogh. Leí Van Gogh. A veces quise SER Van Gogh con todo su talento y sus tragedias aún mayores. San Geraldo y yo habíamos visto videos e imágenes de una brillante y atractiva exhibición de Ámsterdam y Paris, y no queríamos perdérnosla.

La exposición itinerante no se parecía en nada a lo que habíamos visto en línea. En mi opinión al menos, “Van Gogh Constreñido y Sedentario” sería un nombre mejor. Esperábamos estar rodeados y caminando entre imágenes gigantescas proyectadas acompañadas de poderosa música clásica. Lo que obtuvimos en cambio fueron las sillas puf y algunas bancas sin respaldo para sentarnos y ver pantallas temblorosas (las corrientes de aire las hicieron temblar y uno de los proyectores estaba descentrado) y paneles de piso restringidos. Nos fuimos muy decepcionados.

Tomamos el tren hasta la estación principal de Málaga (María Zambrano) y nos dirigimos desde allí. En el camino a casa, sin embargo, no había taxis en el faro al final del puerto donde se encontraba la exposición. Empezamos a caminar. Es una caminata desde el faro hasta la carretera principal. No hay taxis. Así que seguimos caminando hasta la estación de tren más cercana (Centro Alameda). Más de media hora. No es fácil lograr que San Geraldo realice una de estas caminatas. Estaba soleado y caluroso. El viento soplaba y el polen era visible y arruinaba nuestras caras y los ojos. Le dije que no necesitaba traer un sombrero porque no estaríamos afuera por mucho tiempo. San Geraldo no se quejó abiertamente pero, me siento como si hubiera desperdiciado una ficha!

Aún así, si no encontramos que la exposición en sí sea atractiva, pensé que la forma en que la audiencia, aunque estacionario, estaba absorta en las imágenes era bastante artística.


Below is a short video of what we had expected to experience.
A continuación se muestra un breve video de lo que esperábamos experimentar.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

20 thoughts on “Van Gogh Alive (Barely) / Van Gogh Viva (Apenas)”

  1. Sorry to hear that this a disappointment. We had seen a couple of videos on this exhibit as well and was impressed. Maybe some attendants will see this as a starting point in their exploration of the life of a master.
    Sounds like it was organized with not too much thought on so many levels.

  2. Hmm, well I watched Lust For Life and I love Don Mclean’s Vincent, but that’s as far as I’ll Van Gogh 😉

    1. Deedles,
      Oh, you and I. I went through a bunch of title iterations… like Vincent Van Gone.

    1. Debra,
      Yeah, fortunately there was still a bench available for us. If the beanbag had been bigger I might have enjoyed it.

  3. How wonderful and yet disappointing. If you were able to walk through the exhibit like the video it would have been fabulous.
    There is a movie called “”Loving Vincent” a fully painted film. A team of artist worked for years to paint his paintings “moving ” in the story. Everything was hand pained. I really cannot wrap my mind around that.
    It is SUMMER here 100+ with wind, pollen and dry air till monsoons start.
    I hope this posts I am having a hard time commenting

    1. Parsnip,
      So frustrated with these blog sites. I have random problems too. I’ve never even heard of Loving Vincent. Will have to check it out. Thanks!

  4. A neat concept for his art – too bad it didn’t hit the mark. It appears many felt the same way based on their bored expressions

    1. Cheapchick,
      A friend had planned to go but she said three different work colleagues went separately and all said they were disappointed. Some of our friends did enjoy it, however.

  5. Interesting, but I’d just as soon see the original paintings (as opposed to prints or an Internet image.) I never have, but I’d like to.

    By the way, I loved Lust for Life, and for reasons having nothing to do with me and the star having the same first name.

    1. Kirk,
      Have been to the Van Gogh museum a couple of times. Absolutely amazing. Ah, Kirk… you and Douglas!

    1. David,
      The best xhibits in Amsterdam and Paris were amazing. Wish the traveling show had lived up to those.

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