Lighthouse Immersive — the Toronto-based firm that rehabbed the imposing Masonic Temple in downtown Dallas for its Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit and renamed the venue Lighthouse Dallas — recently announced seven North American cities for its Frida: Immersive Dream. Dallas joins Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and Toronto — with no specific dates for any. For the moment, interested parties get to “sign up for first access to tickets.”
Even as the “Big van Gogh” spectaculars began steamrolling across the country late last year — there’s now nearly 40 such lightshows in the U.S. — plans were being announced for splashy exhibitions based on follow-up artists, including Claude Monet and Gustav Klimt. With just its van Gogh shows, including nearly 20 in North America alone, Lighthouse is already the biggest buyer of hi-res, Panasonic digital projectors — in the world.
For many of these shows, much of the artists’ best-known works are in the public domain — meaning copyright is not an issue. Plus, a surreal, popular, visionary artist like Kahlo, with a dramatic struggle and life story, is an obvious candidate for the animated, 360-degree treatment. No location for the Dallas show has been announced. But considering the cost of rehabbing a site like the Masonic Temple into a permanent exhibition space (for other such venues, it’s been estimated at $3 to $4 million) and considering that Lightouse already installed thousands of feet of fiber optic cable inside the former temple, it’s not a wild guess to see Frida as the next downtown Dallas resident after Vincent exits the building
And there’s already competition rolling out: In Mexico City, Cocolab, an entertainment design studio, and Ocesa, the Latin American promoter, recently opened Frida: The Immersive Experience (Frida: la Experiencia Immersiva) in a massive, remodeled jai lai court, while Mexican Geniuses: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience has been announced for London (starting next April) and Washington, DC (next May).
No surprise: Mexican Geniuses is from Fever, the same company behind Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience — currently in Arlington.