The Art Institute of Chicago is allowing art lovers to experience what it feels like for a painting to come to life. The Institute has recreated one of Vincent Van Gogh's iconic paintings as an actual room and listed it on Airbnb.
"I'm charging $10 (£7) for no other reason than that I need to buy paint. However, I will be happy to provide you with tickets to my exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago," reads a description under the room listing on Airbnb. "This room will make you feel like you're living in a painting. It's decorated in a Post-Impressionist style, reminiscent of Southern France and times gone by. Its furniture, bright colors, and artwork will give you the experience of a lifetime."
The room dubbed as "Van Gogh's Bedroom" is found inside an apartment in Chicago. Everything from the pale lilac-blue walls, straw-seated chrome-yellow chairs, copper-brown floor to the blood-red blanket has been replicated from the original painting. The room for two, includes a bathroom, kitchen, TV and other necessary essentials, and the letting price is $10 per night.
So far, the room has been quite popular, with February fully booked. Dates in March and April will open up soon, The Art Institute posted on its Facebook account. "There's such a sensationalised story around Van Gogh. It's always the struggling artist, the artist with emotional issues, the artist who kills himself. What I think comes out is that he really was a person. We wanted to show that universal quality: Everyone wants a room of their own," curator Gloria Groom told Vogue.
One of the versions of the iconic painting is at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, while another is featured at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The Art Institute of Chicago is where the third nearly-identical painting is being featured along with the other two between 14 February and 10 May in a special exhibit.
The room depicted in the painting was located in Arles, south of France, inside a yellow-painted house Van Gogh had rented at the age of 34. Van Gogh had hoped of transforming the house into a "Studio of the South" – a community for artists. The painting was made as Van Gogh was getting ready to welcome the first guest in the house, French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin.
"It's just simply my bedroom," Van Gogh had written in a letter to Gauguin. "Only here colour is to do everything...to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the imagination." A catalog next to the painting in Chicago reads: "The bedroom...became a symbol of stability, which he [Van Gogh] came to believe was an absolute necessity for the artistic life."