Google Arts & Culture app lets you turn yourself into a Van Gogh painting

Igor Bonifacic
·Contributing Writer
·2 mins read

If you’ve ever wondered what your portrait would look like if Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo were to paint it, Google can help you find out. The company’s latest Arts & Culture app update is a set of augmented reality Art Filters you can apply to your face to transform yourself into a famous painting or try on a priceless historical artifact. In all, there are five filters to check out: self-portraits from Van Gogh and Kahlo, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, a 19th-century Samurai helmet and a faience necklace from 14th-century Egypt.

You can access the feature by tapping on the rainbow camera icon located at the bottom of the Arts & Culture app’s main interface. Before applying the filters to your face, the app will provide some history and context about the art piece. It’s a fun way to engage with history, particularly when it’s not feasible to travel to the museums where these paintings and artifacts are exhibited.

The feature uses a machine learning-based image processing algorithm to make the filters look realistic. And don’t worry, Google says all processing is done on your device. Moreover, unless you decide to save an image or video to share with your friends, the app doesn’t store anything you create with the Art Filters.

This isn’t the first time Google has used AR to bring the past to life. In August, the company added an augmented reality recreation of a Cambropachycope, an ancient crustacean with an ominous-looking compound eye, allowing you to invite it into your living room. If you haven’t used the Google Arts & Culture app in a while, look at this as an excuse to see what’s new. Google is consistently updating the platform with new fun and educational features.