Vincent van G.’s paintings are probably one of the most recognizable pieces of art worldwide. Sunflowers might also be one of the most frequently copied paintings ever – you can get them in “paint it by numbers” versions for children, crocheted ones, copies adorn walls in schools and book covers, and if you were ever to visit Van Gogh’s Museum in Amsterdam, you will go close to insane with the amount and variety of merchendising bearing the most popular images -ranging from espresso cup sets, through plates, mugs, laptop cases, puzzles – my favourite, though, is an umbrella.
So can you still be creative about the use of those famous images. It turns out – yes. Greek digital artist Petros Vrellis has created an interactive version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night – an application available for iPads. He used openFrameworks to create a simple and elegant interaction, using the thick paint daubs as the particles within the fluid.
A touch interface allows a viewer to deform the image – gestures change the direction of the wind, sprout new buildings. Being technically more specific – gestures “alter both the flow of the particles and the synthesized sound, and then [the user can] watch it slowly return to its original state. The sound itself is created using a MIDI interface to create a soft ambient tone out of the movement of the fluid that underscores the soft movement. Beauty through simplicity at its finest and most playful.” (description via creative application).