A massive 91 ft high Van Gogh hot air balloon from Europe is making its way to Toronto’s harbour in the next few days. On July 28, July 31 and August 1 (5:00 pm to 8 pm) you’ll be able to see the display at Yonge and Queens Quay. This is being brought in to celebrate the reopening of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibition located at One Yonge Street (inside the former printing press warehouse for the Toronto Star).
The balloon, the creation of a European specialty hot air balloon company, is a faithful reproduction of Van Gogh’s 1887 painting Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat. The brush strokes of the painting have been faithfully reproduced on the balloon – a masterful piece of art in its own right. The Van Gogh balloon has flown at hot air balloon festivals worldwide.
The reopening of the walk-through Lighthouse Immersive Van Gogh exhibition will also include a new experience from the world renowned digital artist Massimiliano Siccardi (Italy) titled Route 66.
ROUTE 66, is one of the most famous highway in America, running 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Sometimes called the “Main Street of America” it served as the highway by which starving migrant workers made their way west, fleeing the dust bowl and the great depression. Siccardi decided to re-examine that path at a time when the presence of COVID-19 ravaged America (and the world) in a very different but equally devastating way.
Siccardi, who has been pioneering immersive exhibitions in Europe for 30 years and came to international prominence with the success of his immersive installations in Paris that were seen by over 2 million visitors, before partnering with Lighthouse Immersive – found himself dreaming of travel during the pandemic and drawn to the iconic significance of Route 66. “We were watching the world go through a period of total statis,” says Siccardi. “And were free to dream. In this journey, we want to express our yearning for an unbounded and unrestricted freedom.”
For Siccardi, this new installation symbolizes unbridled dreams and the stark contrast of painful realities — as it has been for so many during the pandemic.
Route 66 runs 13 minutes and is complemented by original music by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi and art direction by Vittorio Guidotti.
More information about the Immersive Van Gogh experience and tickets for Toronto, can be found here.