New Google Filter Turns Selfies Into Famous Artworks by van Gogh, Kahlo, and More

Google Arts and Culture has launched a new filter that positions users inside masterworks by Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Johannes Vermeer, and other masters from throughout art history. The Art Filter series transposes features from artists’ works directly onto selfies and videos captured with a smartphone and provides historical information about the artwork or artifact chosen by users.

Among the offerings in the new feature are self-portraits by van Gogh and Kahlo, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, a 19th-century iron helmet from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and an ancient Egyptian necklace owned by the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. When users select one of these filters, the Google Arts and Culture app provides details about their origins and creation.

With the Art Filter, artworks can be explored from different angles, and their details are adjusted with the user’s movements. Through machine learning based image processing, the program can digitally affix various aspects of these paintings and objects to users’ bodies and faces. Google Arts and Culture encourages people to share their photos with the hashtag #ArtFilter.

Art Filter follows Google Arts and Culture’s release in May of a similar feature called Art Transfer, which was created as part of a collaboration with the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Art Transfer enables users to see their selfies rendered as though by the brushstrokes of van Gogh, Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Edvard Munch, and more.

Art Filter and Art Transfer are available on Google Arts and Culture’s free app for smartphones.

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