Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

You can now turn a selfie into a work of art inspired by Van Gogh, Basquiat or Kahlo

A new feature on the Google Arts and Culture app transforms images into the style of the masters

Ever wondered what a portrait of you (or your pet) painted by Frida Kahlo would look like?

What about one by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Vincent van Gogh, or even Leonardo da Vinci?

A new feature on the Google Arts and Culture app recreates your selfies as artworks in the style of the masters.

And it’s not simply about applying a filter that vaguely alludes to Edvard Munch’s tense aesthetic on The Scream or the brush swirls of Van Gogh.

The app’s “Art Transfer” feature uses a unique algorithm model by Google AI. It doesn’t merely blend or overlay your image with one by your chosen artist.

“Instead, it kicks off a unique algorithmic recreation of your photo inspired by the specific art style you have chosen,” the Google Arts and Culture blog explains.

Artificial intelligence in particular can be a powerful tool not just in the hands of artists, but also as a way for people to experience and learn about art in new ways

Google

The app has collaborated with cultural institutions from around the world, including the UK’s National Gallery and Japan’s MOA Museum of Art, to use works such as Munch’s The Scream, Kahlo’s Untitled (Self-Portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird) and Yayoi Kusama’s The Heart of the Universe.

“Many Google Arts and Culture experiments show what’s possible when you combine art and technology,” the Google Arts and Culture blog reads. “Artificial intelligence in particular can be a powerful tool not just in the hands of artists, but also as a way for people to experience and learn about art in new ways.”

This isn’t the first time the app has applied AI algorithms to make people find their place in art history.

In 2018, the app went viral thanks to its Art Selfies feature, which matched selfies with famous works of art, making it easier for you to find your lookalike in an Egon Schiele portrait (as was the case for US rocker Marilyn Manson) or the Shepard Fairey Obey mural (as RuPaul discovered)

We imagine the app’s new Art Transfer feature will take hold on social as well, so expect your feeds to soon become crammed with pictures of your friends (or their pets) as Kahlo and Van Gogh paintings.

Updated: May 20, 2020 03:51 PM

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