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Baroque Art Transforms Into Digital Paintings, Thanks to Software [Videos]

London-based Quayola makes abstract video art out of works by Baroque masters Tiepolo and Velazquez.

Baroque Art Transforms Into Digital Paintings, Thanks to Software [Videos]

We admit Baroque art bores us stiff. How many different ways can you fresco Jesus before he starts to look like wallpaper?

So we’re happy to report on the doings of Quayola, a contemporary British artist (with a conveniently baroque name), who blows the genre to bits. More to the point: Quayola takes images of famous Baroque paintings, and, using custom software, virtually chops them into abstract shapes that look like faceted rock. Then, he turns the shapes into dancing, drifting, dream-like video. Elevator pitch: Picasso meets the Nome King, directed by Michel Gondry.

Quayola applied his software to Tiepolo’s L? Immacolata Concezione (top video) and Velazquez’s Las Meninas (bottom video), two iconic paintings at the Prado Museum, in Madrid. Of his work, he says, “The outcome is not a narrative film but rather separate objects of contemplation… Literally ?digital paintings.?”

[L? Immacolata Concezione broken down into its basic geometric parts]

[The final result]

The funny thing is that we can’t actually separate these “separate objects of contemplation”; that is, the Velazquez film looks just like the Tiepolo one, which, come to think of it, might be the most fitting tribute to Baroque painting of all.

[Hat tip to The Fox Is Black; images via Quayola]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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