Van Gogh must be hollering from his grave - “Enough!” Getting zero attention when alive and laser focus in death must be maddening, particularly when featured in ads like the schizophrenia med Zeldox.

Unforgettably in 2007, a pitch for this drug paraded two of the painter’s self-portrait – one with the severed ear in bandages and the other with ear intact. The implication was that taking this remedy would have prevented the severing.

In excess

Then there are the ceaseless Van Gogh exhibits - 10 in 2020 alone. Ten! The latest is coming to New York on June 10 called “Immersive Van Gogh.

As Artnet News reports, this is a digital display of his best-known work projected so big on gallery walls that they spill all over the space, enveloping viewers and putting them in the paintings.

Think of “Immersive Van Gogh” as the visual counterpart to “surround sound.” But instead of intensifying the listening experience, it engulfs exhibit goers with a you-are-there familiarity.

'Slightly flat beer'

But there’s a but. When “Immersive Van Gogh” debuted in London, The Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones compared it to a “slightly flat beer.” Continuing with the alcohol metaphor, he also called the show “the bottle but not the booze.”

Is it possible that all the attention that Van Gogh gets and gets and gets has a numbing effect?

How else to explain Jones’ reaction to a show that Artnet News classes “a phenomenon”? As Jones was viewing Wheatfield with Crows (where Vincent took a bullet that ended his life), a gunshot rang out from a soundtrack carrying the artist’s narration of his work. What did Jones say about the show after hearing the gun go off?

He said it was “sedate.”

Potato eaters?

Speaking to his overall experience as one of the exhibitgoers winding through the London show, he said, “we trudged like potato eaters.” He even called Vincent’s sadly disintegrating friendship with Paul Gauguin “drably dramatized as a low-energy shadow play.” So, what did Jones want to see instead?

He wrote of wanting to see Vincent rant about making art and see him “painting furiously in the fields.”

Expectations like that suggest that Jones is channeling Kirk Douglas acting crazed in the 1956 Van Gogh biopic “Lust for Life”? Too harsh? Probably. I didn’t see the London show.

New and improved

As for the upcoming New York version of “Immersive Van Gogh,” Yahoo News reports that it offers “a number of new and unique features.” One distinguishing characteristic is the handiwork of David Korins, famed for designing the Broadway set for “Hamilton.” Teaser: he is adding tiered observation platforms to enrich the viewer experience.

Rhapsody in blue

Like Jones, I also want more than a display - however splashy.

I want to hear Van Gogh unfold about his impulse to twist the cypress trees in The Starry Night and make them writhe like flames. And I want to hear him thunder about the orgasmic white light of his stars and the beauty of a night sky. I also want him to account for why he added radiating lines to the stars to make them spin. But most of all, I want to hear him disclose the torturous effort it takes to make paint sing.

If you don’t have at least some of that in New York’s expanded production of “Immersive Van Gogh,” it’ll just be gimmicky grandstanding. Yay, technology, art be damned.