Immersive Van Gogh exhibition in New York (Photo by Nina Westervelt for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, via Flickr)

The resurgence of immersive Vincent van Gogh exhibitions, predicted weeks ago by health officials, might be upon New Yorkers sooner than they think. The number of new exhibitions has doubled daily over the past five days, reaching a rate not seen in the city since the spring of 2021.

“We are deeply concerned,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, New York City’s new Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who took over from Dave Chokshi last month. “Data has shown that immersive Van Gogh installations are up in all five boroughs, with the highest concentrations in Manhattan’s Chelsea and Lower East Side neighborhoods as well as Brooklyn’s waterfront areas by Williamsburg and Greenpoint.”

“We recommend New Yorkers avoid these areas at all costs,” Vasan continued. “But if you must go there, please stay away from converted warehouses, as we believe the original contaminant emerged from one of these spots.”

“Of course, nowhere is really safe,” added the commissioner as he adjusted the straps on his Oculus headset.

Still, despite this “seemingly obvious threat,” as many in the media and scientific community have decried it, Mayor Eric Adams and his administration have shown hesitancy in acting to place restrictions to stop the spread of immersive exhibitions.

A source close to the mayor’s office cited Adams’s aggressive plans to bring tourism back to the city as a major factor in this waffling, which has led to many late nights at City Hall with rumors of non-vegan pizzas being in attendance. 

Privately, the source has confided, the mayor is grumbling about what a lack of Van Gogh will do to New York City’s “swagger.” 

As always, health experts advise monitoring for symptoms, which include Instagram Reels, the flattening of an artist’s legacy, and an intense desire to watch Netflix’s Emily in Paris

Eyes are also out for a newer variant, dubbed the “Banksy Exhibit,” which was traced back to the former Urban Outfitters location on 14th Street.

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