Vincent van Gogh has been unexpectedly active beyond the grave. His works have been featured in major museum exhibitions, and immersive theaters are projecting his landscapes in cities like Miami and Milan. His designs have appeared on various products, and a collaboration with the Pokémon gaming franchise drew huge crowds at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
At the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, a lifelike doppelgänger of van Gogh is interacting with visitors, offering insights into his life and death with the help of artificial intelligence. The algorithm has been developed using the artist’s letters and biographies, but humans are still needed to guide the conversation on sensitive topics, such as van Gogh’s suicide.
The museum’s efforts to modernize and stay relevant in the digital age have sparked controversy among some art historians, and various projects involving van Gogh’s paintings have made some uneasy. Despite the concerns, the museum is moving forward with plans to release a van Gogh A.I. program on Amazon Alexa and Echo devices, as well as a virtual reality experience called “Van Gogh’s Palette.”
While some scholars worry about the commodification of van Gogh’s art, the museum is embracing the digital age, with programs designed to engage and educate audiences. How this digital expansion of the collection will impact the way people interact with art remains to be seen.