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Art Plunge

Virtual Reality App 'Art Plunge' Takes You Inside Your Favorite Paintings

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Art Plunge

A new app will let you dive headlong into the enigma that is the Mona Lisa. Art Plunge is a virtual reality gallery that allows users to get an interior view of famous works of art, as Co.Design reports, seemingly going "inside" the frame.

Art Plunge—currently available in beta versions for Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Google Cardboard—essentially extends the frame of famous paintings to show what the scene would look like if you were actually in the room with the painter. Created by Swedish designers/developers Martin Eklund and Martin Christensen, the app adds sound and visuals so that you can peer out windows, hear the chirping of birds outside, and see the flowing river in the background.

Right now, you can choose to enter one of two paintings that appear to hang on a gallery wall: Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Johannes Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window. (The third, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco The Creation of Adam, isn’t yet ready for viewing.)

The app’s creators did take some artistic license in expanding the classic paintings, but the scenes aren’t entirely new. The frames are stitched together from other paintings in the selected artist's oeuvre, to make it a realistic approximation of what an extended version of the original painting might have looked like. The environment around Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, for instance, uses another Vermeer scene, View of Delft, as the scene outside the window.

According to Co.Design, the full app will be available sometime this summer.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Art
Artist Makes Colorful Prints From 1990s VHS Tapes

A collection of old VHS tapes offers endless crafting possibilities. You can use them to make bird houses, shelving units, or, if you’re London-based artist Dieter Ashton, screen prints from the physical tape itself.

As Co.Design reports, the recent London College of Communication graduate was originally intrigued by the art on the cover of old VHS and cassette tapes. He planned to digitally edit them as part of a new art project, but later realized that working with the ribbons of tape inside was much more interesting.

To make a print, Ashton unravels the film from cassettes and VHS tapes collected from his parents' home. He lets the strips fall randomly then presses them into tight, tangled arrangements with the screen. The piece is then brought to life with vibrant patterns and colors.

Ashton has started playing with ways to incorporate themes and motifs from the films he's repurposing into his artwork. If the movie behind one of his creations isn’t immediately obvious, you can always refer to its title. His pieces are named after movies like Backdraft, Under Siege, and that direct-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen classic Passport to Paris.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Dieter Ashton

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This Is What Flowers Look Like When Photographed With an X-Ray Machine
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Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “Peruvian Daffodil” (1938)

Many plant photographers choose to showcase the vibrant colors and physical details of exotic flora. For his work with flowers, Dr. Dain L. Tasker took a more bare-bones approach. The radiologist’s ghostly floral images were recorded using only an X-ray machine, according to Hyperallergic.

Tasker snapped his pictures of botanical life while he was working at Los Angeles’s Wilshire Hospital in the 1930s. He had minimal experience photographing landscapes and portraits in his spare time, but it wasn’t until he saw an X-ray of an amaryllis, taken by a colleague, that he felt inspired to swap his camera for the medical tool. He took black-and-white radiographs of everything from roses and daffodils to eucalypti and holly berries. The otherworldly artwork was featured in magazines and art shows during Tasker’s lifetime.

Selections from Tasker's body of work have been seen around the world, including as part of the Floral Studies exhibition at the Joseph Bellows Gallery in San Diego in 2016. Prints of his work are also available for purchase from the Stinehour Wemyss Editions and Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “Philodendron” (1938)
Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “Philodendron” (1938)

X-ray image of a rose.
Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “A Rose” (1936)

All images courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery.

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