Atlantic City Casino Aims To Attract Visitors With Van Gogh-themed Exhibit

Atlantic City Casino Aims To Attract Visitors With Van Gogh-themed Exhibit

“Starry Night” and “Sunflowers” sound like new slot machines at the Hard Rock International in Atlantic City. They aren’t slots – as art sleuths will know – but rather they are two of the most famous works by Vincent Van Gogh. Both come into play in the “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” exhibit now on display on the second floor of the casino.

The exhibit doesn’t feature the real originals, but is an ode to the famous magic of his art. The “digital” paintings are 3-D projected onto walls, screens, and the floor allowing viewers to literally become part of the landscape and see the detail. You don’t have to worry about not touching the canvas. It’s touching you.

“Beyond Van Gogh” is on display at the Hard Rock through August 28. It is expected to draw in 100,000 visitors while it is open.

An immersive art exhibit to entice Atlantic City casino customers

Beyond Vincent Van Gogh uses three different areas to honor the Dutch artist’s work: The Education Room, the Waterfall Room, and the Experience Room, all flowing into each other. Van Gogh is considered a post-Impressionist artist (meaning he painted static scenes of life with a unique slant).

The concept of an immersive Vincent Van Gogh experience was created at the Normal Studio in Montreal by Creative Director Mathieu St-Arnaud.

“Beyond Van Gogh takes on the challenge of breathing new life into Van Gogh’s vast body of work,” said St-Arnaud in a press release.

“Through the use of cutting-edge 3D projection technology and music to illuminate all of his genius, guests can experience the artist with all their senses.”

Tickets start at $39.99 for adults and $23.99 for children (ages 5-15).

Other US casinos attracting visitors with art

Displaying famous and classic works of art has become a new trend in the flourishing US casino industry as brick-and-mortar sites become more elaborate to entice the player to stay on the grounds longer.

Will it matter to hardcore casino goers?

“Are there slot machines there?” asked Joe Theodore, a frequent visitor to Atlantic City from his home in White Plains, New York.

“I guess it could be something for my wife and kids to do if they want to come down and spend the day with me.”

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas has real pieces by Pablo Picasso, Monet, Andy Warhol, and Van Gogh, and has also featured immersive 3D exhibitions.

The Palms brought in modern artwork as part of a $620 million renovation plan and opened a display space to show contemporary and street art. It even put a Banksy in the lobby restaurant.

The obvious question might be, why? But there is a direct connotation to lavish works of art and wealth. Casinos often have art shops in their shopping centers.

“The whole point of an experience like this is to bring people in,” said Fanny Curtat, the exhibit’s art historian in an interview with the Associated Press.

“For a lot of people, museums are intimidating. It’s all about exploring and having more ways of experiencing art.”

The trend of high-quality art and art experiences in casinos is definitely here to stay. Maryland’s LIVE Casino has an art collection of more than 40 works. The Hippodrome Casino in London has an artist in residence and offers competition for local artists to stage their work.

It seems to be a weird connection. Will players in Atlantic City stop pushing slot machine buttons or playing poker to go see art?

But it’s not so much whether or not the game ends, it’s the status associated with the upscale exhibit itself.

The Wentworth Gallery at the Hard Rock Casino also features art by KISS frontman Paul Stanley. Van Gogh and KISS? Now that’s an interesting combo.

“I find it interesting to know that the Hard Rock will have the Van Gogh experience there,” said Flora McDermott of Metuchen, New Jersey, who describes herself as an avid casino goer.

“As fun as it is, you can’t stare at the slot machine game all the time. It sounds like something else to do while I am there.”

Author: Tyler Gutierrez