AR in Art - Karolina Skorek
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AR in Art

In the last few years we are seeing a lot of very rapid changes into the art industry. The blend between old and new technologies is becoming more and more prominent. Galleries and artists are trying to adapt and evolve to create more immersive and diverse experiences. Arugmented reality is employed to develop and use a visual language to communicate artists’ core message or even emotions in a more accessible manner for people with different backgrounds and languages. What makes AR even greater is that it does not modify, but only adds to the original artwork’s content, complementing the artist’s work and making it live and even fill our real environment.

An excelent example of this is an art exhibition from 2020 Mirages and Miracles -work by the digital artists Adrien M & Claire B that made me rethink the possibilities of creating art through augmented reality. 

Here’s a video for the exhibition which is a collection of small to large-scale pieces and installations that you view through a smartphone or tablet:

Mirages and Miracles takes a different approach from many other augmented reality art exhibitions where the technology simply enhances an existing work. Artists have been showing their performance work in large theatre spaces but this time, they decided to transpose this experience and create a performance for a single spectator. Utilising HTC VIVE headsets, iPads, the Pepper’s Ghost trick, amongst other various illusion techniques, viewers experience the exhibition space and the visual magic trick embedded in each piece. The handheld devices sort of work like 3D glasses; when you look through their lenses static flat images come into motion. The hope is that this new format creates this, ‘continuous feeling of an imaginary digital world tightly building upon our real world,’ write the artists.

Yunuen Esparza’s Pop Art AR paintings

Yunuen is a contemporary oil painter and AR artist from Mexico City, known for integrating augmented reality into her radiant deconstructivist art. She considers herself a control freak when it comes to her paintings, giving a unique color to each piece of the intricate geometric pattern that is her compelling signature style. The longer you look at this pattern, the more compelling it becomes – fittingly, considering Yunuen expresses interest in both “celebrating the strength in individuality” and the desire to “make sense of nature’s random origins”.

Besides geometric patterns and the use of AR, another one of Yunuen’s signature moves is blending human bodies with different animal heads, which gives her pieces a sort of folkloric spirit that can be interpreted by the audience in many different ways. The cultural references in some of her artworks are quite clear and bold, with symbols reminiscent of Mexican traditions such as the Dia de Los Muertos and lucha libre fighters, as well as iconic political figures like Frida Kahlo. Yunuen has put together an engaging book compiling her most recognized AR pieces, available both in English and German.

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