Google Arts & Culture’s latest feature uses an algorithmic model to transform your selfie into the style of your favourite artists
Ever wanted to turn yourself or your surroundings into a painting by Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yayoi Kusama, or Leonard da Vinci? Google Arts & Culture has found a way to make it possible with its latest feature, “Art Transfer”.
Having collaborated with cultural institutions from around the world, including the UK’s National Gallery and Japan’s MOA Museum of Art, Google Arts & Culture gained permission to remix famous works such as Munch’s “The Scream” (1893), Kahlo’s “Untitled (Self Portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird)” (1940), and Kusama’s “The Heart of the Universe”, amongst others.
Using an algorithmic model created by Google AI, “Art Transfer” doesn’t simply overlay or blend your image with the chosen artwork, but instead presents an “algorithmic recreation”.
“Many Google Arts & Culture experiments show what’s possible when you combine art and technology,” reads the Google Arts & Culture blog. “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.”
In 2018, the Google Arts & Culture feature “Art Selfies” went viral, with peoples’ selfies being compared to famous works of art. However, the feature was not without its criticism and some Asian, Latin, and black users accused the app of a race problem. Having uploaded their selfies, users were being matched with with white subjects, highlighting how historically undiverse the art world has been.
“Art Feature” allows you to either turn your entire picture into a work of art or to select an area to transform, meaning you can spruce up that week-old vase of flowers by turning it into Vincent Van Gogh’s “Irises” (1890) or add some Kusama polkadots to your pet’s coat.