By Elazar Abrahams
Immersive art experiences are the hot new trend when it comes to New York City pop ups. It started with Artechouse, then really took off with two Van Gogh exhibits last summer. Now there’s the Hall des Lumières, Frida Kahlo and Disney versions on the horizon, and the just opened Monet’s Garden, which TV and City was lucky enough to be invited to.
The new space nestled in the heart of lower Manhattan’s Financial District, the two floor space brings patrons into the world of French painter Claude Monet and all the glory of his iconic lily pad-core.
We started our visit on an escalator that led us to an interactive gallery of digital Monet paintings that visitors can interact with in a multitude of ways. There are AR components, cool photo-ops, and vibrant moving patterns all along the walls and floors. Ticket holders will want to make a beeline for the actual garden. Although all the flowers are fake, the bridge and digital pond below it make up the most Instagrammable installation of the exhibit. There’s a decent amount to walk through in this area, and if you’re a Monet buff or someone genuinely interested in learning about the artist and his techniques, then you can really maximize what’s offered. Many however, will breeze through the area in a manner of minutes, which is unfortunate.
On the ground floor is the focal point of the experience, a 45 minute projection show that surrounds you in all 360 degrees with Monet’s gorgeous works. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed in this, as the lighting is too dull for the colors to really pop and the walls aren’t tall enough to fully engross you into the paintings because the ceiling is not part of the presentation. One can’t help but compare this to Immersive Van Gogh, which did a stellar job with this same concept. Monet’s Garden disappoints.
Grab your tickets HERE.