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Google's art app turns you into a masterpiece

Art transfer
(Image credit: Georgia Coggan/Google)

If you've ever yearned to be interpreted by one of the greatest artists, you'll finally get your wish. Google's Art and Culture app has a brand-new feature that will bring Picasso to your living room and put you in the spotlight. 

The Art Transfer feature goes a step further than the app's previous fun filter, the Art Selfie. Instead of scouring its huge database for matches to your photos, it applies different filters to pictures, in the style of history's famous artists. 

If you want to take things a step further, find all you'll need to know to make your own art in our art techniques guide.

Art transfer

Part of the Art Transfer process (Image credit: Georgia Coggan/Google)

After taking or choosing a photo and applying filters that range from 'Self Portrait in the style of Vincent Van Gogh' to 'Free South Africa by Keith Haring' (plus a wealth of other artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Pablo Picasso), you have the option to save the result as an image or as a gif. The app also throws up some trivia about the artist and the option to view their work in a virtual gallery (more on that later). 

We have to say we are massively enjoying the outcome, and took the liberty of giving a nearby cat a plethora of makeovers. Firstly, 'The Scream by Edvard Munch'.

And then a Frieda Kahlo-style self portrait.

The app uses AI-powered technology to analyse any photo and transform it, and not by just applying a simple filter, either. "Once you snap your photo and select a style, Art Transfer doesn’t just blend the two things or simply overlay your image," product manager Michelle Luo explains. 

"Instead, it kicks off a unique algorithmic recreation of your photo inspired by the specific art style you have chosen."

Honestly, we will probably spend all day on this. But there is more that the app can do for you right now. As well as fun filters, it also has a bunch of time-filling cultural content, including a virtual tours of over 1200 art galleries and museums – see our roundup of online art galleries for more. There are also art activities and interactive experiments.

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