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Lehel Kovacs via Kolehel.com
Lehel Kovacs via Kolehel.com

Artist Uses Google Street View to Create Postcards from Around the World in Eighty Days

Lehel Kovacs via Kolehel.com
Lehel Kovacs via Kolehel.com

Even with the advent of airplanes and automobiles, the adventure outlined in Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days is still an impressive feat by today’s standards. In the book Phileas Fogg and his valet Passeportout travel across three continents in less than three months, making stops in some of the world’s greatest metropolises, including Hong Kong, New York, Calcutta, and Bombay. It has been a lifelong dream of Budapest-based illustrator Lehel Kovacs to recreate the fictional journey and draw postcards along the way, and now modern technology is allowing him to do so without leaving home. 

Using Google Street View, Kovacs “visited” every location mentioned in Around the World in Eighty Days and illustrated what he saw. He makes his postcards by drawing the outlines in pencil and scanning them onto his computer, then adds color and texture on Photoshop. He says the illustrations aren't meant to look finished but should instead present an initial impression of each location. 

The destinations have obviously undergone significant changes since they were written about in 1873—Bombay is now Mumbai and San Francisco is now crowded with hybrid cars and high-rises—but Kovacs’ distinct style lends an appropriate vintage feel.

With his Kickstarter campaign, Kovacs hopes to make his 40 unique postcards available to a wider audience. As of the time of writing, he’s raised nearly $5,000, shattering his initial $1,520 goal. Fellow Jules Verne fans can still make a pledge and receive postcards of their own. Thanks to Kovacs' collection, if you don’t have the resources to recreate the storied trip in real life, you might still convince gullible friends otherwise. 

LehelKovacs via Kolehel.com

LehelKovacs via Kolehel.com

LehelKovacs via Kolehel.com

LehelKovacs via Kolehel.com

LehelKovacs via Kickstarter

LehelKovacs via Kickstarter


[h/t: WIRED]

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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