Find your face in famous artwork with Google's Art Selfie search

  • TECH
  • Saturday, 15 Sep 2018

A strange selfie feature has helped a lesser-known Google app go viral by helping smartphone users find their lookalikes in classical artworks. But not everyone is happy with their suggested doppelgangers. — dpa

Web culture is a strange beast, and that strangeness is often lived out in interesting ways. This month, Google's Arts and Culture app launched a new feature outside the United States for the first time, and it immediately took social media by storm.

The app, which first launched in 2016 on Android and iOS smartphones, now has a new feature that lets you take a selfie that the app will then compare with artwork from around the world.

The results are striking, ranging from hilarious to bizarre to ... well, perhaps a little unfortunate. The feature has been available in the United States since January, and people have clearly been having fun following the international launch.

However, as is often the case when something goes viral, the app also drew attention to deeper social issues within the art world. In the United States, people of colour soon noticed the app clearly had a limited pool to draw from in terms of diversity.

Many people of colour took to social media after finding they were only being matched with stereotypically subservient portraits, which points to the historic bias often found in culture and the arts.

The app also has other features that can be useful for art lovers when visiting museums – but none have caused as much interest as Art Selfie. – dpa
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