Art Project @ Tate & MoMA, powered by Google

The newly launched Art Project (powered by Google) is super cool and is a ton of fun for people to explore. I love it. Here is an insightful observation from WSJ (emphasis added),

You might not think it’s possible to have a better art experience than going to an art gallery and looking at a piece of work in real life — but the folks at Google in conjunction with 17 of the world’s leading museums and galleries* have created a website that might just give you a more informative experience online than looking at the real thing.

Simply called “Art Project,” the website uses Google’s Street View technology and adapts it to give users 360-degree tours of the galleries involved in the project. While this is not terribly exciting, the real innovation in the project is the use of “gigapixel” resolution images that allow users to get a microscopic view of the paintings.

The level of detail offered up by up to 14 billion pixels is pretty jaw-dropping.

Here are samples of the amazing details from three paintings,

from The Starry Night La nuit étoilée (1889) Vincent van Gogh

from No Woman, No Cry (1998) Chris Ofilifrom The bedroom De slaapkamer (1888) Vincent van Gogh

As a non-painter and a technical geek, I need to remind myself that I shouldn’t focus too much in the details (the amazing 14 billion pixels) and missing the feeling from “seeing and experiencing” the bigger picture. The famous Voice of Fire, which I saw in Ottawa, comes to mind.

ITN News, Google’s Street View puts famous art online

A video “MoMA: Vincent van Gogh. The Starry Night. 1889” of the painting.

A short video about “No Woman, No Cry

Research in progress: Discoloration of Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom’ about the painting


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