Amazing iPhone Art
At heart, we are all artists and if we are not actively making art, we are busy appreciating it. And like an artist, when we walk by a park and the light falls in a certain way, when our food is plated exceptionally, when we want to capture our own amazing reflection, we reproduce the moment – not with paint or clay – but with our smart phones. And it does not stop there. Then the real work begins. Apps like Snapseed and Instagram allow us to turn Iphone photos into art. These apps give us the freedom to accentuate the light, to deepen the colors, to blur or sharpen the focus. These are filters, and when we don’t use one, we even have a hashtag: “#nofilterneeded” as if to confirm to the world that the image you see is as close to the real as it gets.
Filters are layers, like veneers, they can distort, discolor, and deceive but fundamentally they are superficial. Thus, they don’t really turn your iphone photos into art. Filters don’t create. And art is all about creation. And this is where we feel the divide between the “artist” and the rest of us. But what if you could capture the essence of a Picasso in a selfie or a Van Gogh in your pic of a landscape? In other words, an app that did more than just layer, but actually re-created your image. An app that produced amazing iPhone art. Enter Prisma. If you haven’t already heard, the app debuted 9 months ago and does not merely filter but actually deconstructs the pixels in a photo and then refigures their spatial arrangement to create an entirely new image in a specific style of art.
The app was created by Alexey Moiseenkov, who also founded the Prisma Labs in Moscow. The science behind the app is complex, involving neural networks and A.I technology to manipulate images. The end results – turning android and iphone photos into art – is nothing short of magical.
Art has always been about artifice, about representation and reproduction. When Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre introduced his Daguerrotype (the first photograph) to the world in 1839 the artistic playing field shifted.
At first, there was resistance. Photography was seen as commercial and banal. But slowly photography gained ground alongside painting as an art form. Yet, there has always been some kind of rivalry between the two, beginning with the painter Paul Delaroche’s alleged exclamation after viewing the first photographic reproductions that “Painting is dead!” From the salons in Paris, to the artists that were accused of copying photographs to exact some sort of realism in their paintings, the two mediums have had a long and complicated history. Which is what makes Prisma all the more provocative as a technology. It literally turns Android and iphone photos into art by marrying the two mediums, highlighting the value of each, and introducing a whole new generation to influential artists.
The app allows a person with access to technology to participate in a medium that they otherwise may be excluded from and create amazing iPhone art. While detractors may argue that the app makes it all “too easy,” we know there will always be artists pushing the boundaries, that people will find ways to explore the full potential of the technology.
And that is the beauty of art and of technology. They change our lives. They widen our perspective so we can see things that we previously could only imagine. In other words, it is not just a filter placed over our eyes, it is the ability to remove the filter and create a whole new world.