Google Celebrates the 44th Anniversary of Hip-Hop in THE Dopest Way

Hip hop turned 44 today and Google gave me beats…and life.

Today’s Google Doodle marks the 44th anniversary of the Bronx party credited as the birthplace of hip-hop. The artwork is swagged out with by Def Jam founding creative director Cey Adams, but the fun starts when you click through to the interactive turntable game: Pull from an animated record crate stocked with classic sample material by artists like the Isley Brothers and the Incredible Bongo Band, then match it up with a Google-created beat. Former Yo! MTV Raps host and hip-hop legend, Fab 5 Freddy narrates, prompting users to unlock achievements like “scratch a record.”

The complexity level is kid-friendly, but it’s more than enough fun for adults. Don’t miss the records’ info buttons, which will tell you the BPM and the most famous hip-hop songs to have used the sample. Google’s blog also has an interview with Adams, Fab, and the game design team—read that here and check out one of my faves below.

 

You Can Paint Like A Legend

You don’t have to be an art expert to be familiar with Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, “The Scream.” If you aren’t familiar, here’s a refresher:

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

Munch is making news that turns the focus away from big-ticket sales and thrilling heists and back to the nuts-and-bolts of his artistic process. Munch Museet, the Oslo-based museum responsible for safeguarding the artist’s archive, has teamed up with Adobe, the mega-software company behind Photoshop, to bring Munch’s paint brushes back to life.


In an effort to promote one artist’s legacy—and, of course, to launch a saleable product—they retrieved seven of Munch’s brushes from the depths of climatized storage and transformed them into digital tools.


When Munch died in 1944 at the age of 80, he left around 1,150 paintings, 17,800 prints, 4,500 watercolors, 13 sculptures, a stash of drawings, and the contents of his Norwegian studio to the city of Oslo. This massive trove included several of Munch’s masterpieces, as well as the paints and brushes he used to make them.


While Munch’s canvases are regularly on view in museums around the world, his materials rarely see the light of day, due to their inherent fragility. Photo documentation of the tools isn’t readily available to the public, either. Up until now, the only visual evidence of Munch’s process online has existed in several grainy, black-and-white photos of his studio.


Starting last year, Adobe and the Munch Museum set out to give Photoshop and Sketch users a first-hand understanding of the artist’s process. Their approach was unorthodox and unprecedented: Transform Munch’s age-old brushes into digital mark-making tools. When taken up by Photoshop- and Sketch-savvy millennials, the brushes would have the ability to imitate the artist’s strokes.


The custom brushes have been licensed by Adobe and used by graphic designers, illustrators, and artists the world over. Wired reported that Webster made over $100,000 in 2013 alone selling his virtual brush packs.


brushes.jpg


These custom brushes double as a marketing campaign for both Adobe and the Munch Museet. But they also connect a vital art-historical practice to contemporary artmaking in the digital age. the future of art.


This, my friends, is the future of art.

This Art Exhibition Is Raising Money for Women to Run for Office

The art exhibition “She Inspires,” which opened May 2 at the Untitled Space in New York, showcases artwork inspired by women who left their mark on history. The massive collection includes portraits of historical figures like Egyptian queen Nefertiti, Nina Simone, and Queen Elizabeth II, and contemporary icons including Michelle Obama and Alicia Keys. Ten percent of the show’s proceeds will go to She Should Run, an organization that encourages women to run for office.

Nineteen paintings from the show appear in the exhibit and each image is noted with the women who inspired the piece. Artist Rebecca Leveille explained choosing Michelle Obama for her portrait State of Grace: “What she represents in all her actions, in her very identity, the best things about what a powerful woman is and what they can do with the grace of their spirit — she inspires,” she said. Click the image below to preview the exhibit.

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IBM Watson is an Art Instructor…and I Love It

Almost three-quarters of Brazilians have never been inside a museum, according to a 2010 study from the Brazilian Institute of Economic Research. There are probably many reasons for this, but among them is the feeling that art can seem inaccessible unless you’ve studied it.

For the launch of IBM Watson in Brazil, Ogilvy Brazil created an interactive guide that lets people have conversations with work housed at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo Museum. “The Voice of Art” replaces pre-recorded audio guides with a Watson-powered program that gleans data from books, old newspapers, recent articles, biographies, interviews and the internet.

It took IBM six months to teach Watson how to make sense of all that content. Hosted on cloud platform IBM Bluemix, its AI capabilities were put to work answering spontaneous questions about art by renowned Brazilian creators like Cândido Portinari, Tarsila do Amaral and José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior.

Witness the magic below:

I recently got to experience this technology hands on. IBM is sponsoring “Art with Watson,” a special exhibit at the Cadillac House gallery, 330 Hudson Street, in New York City’s SOHO through 4.7.

The show includes portraits of pioneers of science, society, business and design — including Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, Charles Darwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Josephine Baker, Thomas J. Watson and Paul Rand — all created by modern artists with the help of IBM Watson technology. Watson provided the artists with unusual insights into each subject – from Nikola Tesla’s patents and journals, to Marie Curie’s correspondence with her children.

The exhibit also features a “cognitive photobooth” that puts Watson in the hands of individual attendees. Based on responses to a series of questions, Watson creates a personal portrait with the same APIs used to create the gallery portraits. Check mine out below and learn more about Art with Watson here.

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