Sci-Tech

Apple turning its retails stores into art galleries

January 12, 2015 05:27 PM
Paintings from on walls of Iphone store

Apple is turning its retail stores into art galleries featuring the work of photographers and other artists who use iPads, iPhones and Mac computers to create. 

They include paintings, photographs and short films by both professional and amateur Apple fans. The firm is set to install the artworks in all of its stores in an unprecedented move, saying it hopes to inspire others. "Every piece in this gallery was created on an Apple product," Apple said.

Just as technology has transformed the way we work and interact with one another, it has also changed the way we create. For painter Roz Hall, that's meant shifting away from the canvases and acrylic paint he started out using in art school to an iPhone app called Brushes. 

"Every brushstroke, every pixel and every frame of film was brought to life by talented Apple users from around the world. As you explore their work, we hope it inspires you to create something new." 

Travel photographer Austin Mann told MailOnline he used an iPhone 6 to take otherworldly panoramic photos of an Icelandic glacier. 

He said it was 'surreal' seeing the artwork blown up in the firm's Soho store in New York. He originally began taking pictures as a way to help review Apple products for a website. 

He said the larger screen was a major change. "It's so nice to shoot with a big screen - it's almost like the old medium format cameras," he said. 

Mann, who recalls mowing lawns for a summer as a 7th grader to save up for his first, bright green iMac in 1998, says his use of an iPhone and high-end cameras is "split pretty even" when it comes to professional work. 

"In the photography industry especially, when you are getting started you are always seeking gear, 'If I could only get this $1,000 lens','' he said. 

Using just an iPhone to take great photos encourages people to "shift away from focusing on gear and equipment". 

Apple commissioned the work of 12 artists at various stages of their career to create works meant to inspire.

Showcasing the people who use its technology - in this case, painters, photographers, filmmakers and other visual artists - is a shift for a company long focused on making its products front and centre. 

The artwork, done on iOS devices and Macs using various apps, is displayed on Apple's website as part of an ad campaign called 'Start something new.' 

And the Cupertino, California-based company is replacing all product signage in its retail stores with the artwork. 

Just as technology has transformed the way we work and interact with one another, it has also changed the way we create. For painter Roz Hall, that's meant shifting away from the canvases and acrylic paint he started out using in art school to an iPhone app called Brushes. 

After not painting for many years, Hall in 2010 read about a group of artists who started using their iPhones and sometimes iPads, which had just come out.

"I had an iPhone at home and I downloaded the Brushes app," he says. "That was a wonderful, simple application."

It was also challenging. When he painted on a canvas, he painted life-size works. Painting on a 3.5 inch-screen was an entirely different thing. 

"What I liked about it was that there was no setup," Hall says. With all the prep work that comes with traditional painting, he says, "by the time you have everything out the moment has (often) passed'. 

Hall, whose website lists exhibitions in cities from San Francisco to New York to Shanghai, says he has not painted traditionally for many years. And he prefers painting on the iPad to using a traditional computer. Using the app Procreate to paint with his fingers on the iPad, "you don't feel like you are fighting a computer to create your art. You feel connected to the artwork", he says. "When I first used an iPad, it made me think of cave paintings, or when a child first paints using their finger." While some artists may look at digital painting as 'cheating' - after all, you can delete mistaken brush strokes - Hall, who lives in Britain, thinks it actually makes artists more daring. 

"If you spent £50 on canvas and another £50 on paint, at some point you are going to get careful. You don't want to waste what you spent," he says.

For Apple's display, Hall used Procreate to paint portraits of people he encountered at the university where he lectures.

They include a bearded, moustached young man with bright yellow glasses and an intense stare, and a woman in a floppy black hat lost in thought.

Alistair Taylor-Young, whose photography career spans two decades and has shot for fashion icons such as Armani and Fendi and magazines ranging from Conde Nast Traveller to French Vogue, took photos of rainy cityscapes with the iPhone 6 for Apple's project. 'Crystal Mosaic' uses the phone's own camera app to bring drops of rain on glass into focus, showing ordinary scenes through a different perspective. 

 

 

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