Feel Like Screaming? The Getty and Google Have Created a New Smartphone Filter That Turns You Into Munch’s ‘Scream’ and Other Famous Artworks

The new Art Transfer app could be the new "Getty challenge."

Nur El Shami-Goldstein, as filtered through Google Arts & Culture's new art history lens. Photo by Andrew Goldstein.
Nur El Shami-Goldstein, as filtered through Google Arts & Culture's new art history lens. Photo by Andrew Goldstein.

Have you ever wondered what your breakfast would look like if it was painted by Caravaggio? Now, there’s an app for that.

Google’s ever-evolving Arts & Culture app has a new feature that recreates your surroundings in the style of a famous artwork. You can now overlay Vincent van Gogh’s starry night onto the view from your balcony from lockdown, or capture yourself in the style of Frida Kahlo’s famous self-portrait.

The new filter feature, called Art Transfer, draws from paintings, decorative arts, antiquities, and drawings from the J. Paul Getty Trust’s collections. Users simply upload a picture into the app and then choose from featured artworks, which includes Monet’s Irises, Cena de circo by Marc Chagall, or Basquiat’s Man from Naples, and watch their photo take on the work’s colors, shapes, and artistic style. Images can be completely overlaid with an artwork or specific areas cut out to make more of a collage.

Art has become a major hobby during life in quarantine. The recent Getty challenge saw people all over the world recreate famous works of art with hilarious and highly satisfying results.

“Art is a great unifier, a reminder we are all in this together,” Lisa Lapin, vice president of communications at the Getty, told Hyperallergic. “When Google raised the concept of Art Transfer, we loved the idea of leveraging Google’s artificial intelligence technology to give people even more tools to play with. They can have fun exploring works from Getty collections, learning the different approaches and styles of major artists, and then get hands-on in applying those approaches to their own personal creations.”

This is not the first time Google and the Getty have collaborated. In 2011, the California institution made a project with Google Goggles’s mobile app to give access to online resources as visitors perused the collection.

Additional artworks available to transfer from Getty’s collections include Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Portrait of Leonilla and Jacques-Louis David’s The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis. If users want to go further back in time, there is a fascinating selection of antiquities from Romano-Egyptian times to the early 100s A.D., including a Greek gemstone featuring a grasshopper engraving that dates to 425-400 BC.


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