Arts & Culture


Google Arts & Culture New AR filters takes your selfies to the next level, as it transforms you into famous paintings while learning information about the pieces itself.

/ 15 October 2020

Selfies are the digital age’s version of a self-portraiture. It’s become a form of self-expression–from the most random to the most elaborate–that tells viewers about your day, or just about how your eyebrows are on fleek. It’s a visual communication that generations even past the advancement of technology have experienced.

As we may all know, some selfies require filters and why stick with puppy dog ears, flower crowns, and angel filters when you can be an artwork itself? (at least, reasonable approximations). While Da Vinci had his paintbrushes, today you only need a smartphone and Google’s #ArtFilter app.

Google Arts and Culture has launched a new filter that takes your selfies into modern artwork masterpieces. In one click, you’ll find yourself being the subject of some of the greatest painters throughout history. Artists like Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Johannes Vermeer, among others. You’ll be able to see yourself wear the pearl earring of, well, the Girl with a Pearl Earring, while learning about her story, or put on a Japanese helmet taking you back to the time of Samurai traditions.


What makes this different from your usual Instagram filters is that it’s intuitive in a sense that  when users select one of these filters, the machine learning based image processing digitally affixes details adjusting well to the user’s movement, rather than just a simple overlay. So you really get to mask yourself in van Gogh’s iconic brush strokes, take your self-portraits and turn into postmodern impression paintings while providing details about origins and creation.

AI-powered filters included are based on artwork including Edvard Munch “The Scream”, Frida Kahlo “Untitled (Self-portrait with thorn necklace and hummingbird)”, Wassily Kandinsky “Improvisation 26 (Rowing)”, Keith Haring “Free South Africa”, Marc Chagall “Cena de Circo”, Yayoi Kusama “The heart of the universe”, Andy Warhol “Self Portrait”, and many more.

Google Arts & Culture app has more things in store, beyond the fun camera tools. It’s like going to a museum right at your fingertips with its wide collection of art blogs, in-depth info to all sorts of art subjects, from styles and periods to interviews. The app also has virtual and augmented reality exhibitions such as that of the painter Vermeer, the landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon, and the fascinating Mayan world without leaving your home.

Art Filter and Art Transfer are available on Google Arts and Culture’s free app for smartphones. You can download Google’s Arts & Culture app on iOS and Android.