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Gone are the days when you have to actually leave the house to find cultural enrichment. Now, there’s an app for that! Particularly if you’re interested in the work of graphic artist Shepard Fairey, best know for Barack Obama’s famous HOPE campaign poster ten years ago.
Since then Fairey has been working on his latest and most ambitious show, DAMAGED, an exhibition whose physical form fills a warehouse in Los Angeles. His art now focuses on the shifting political climate and our increasing reliance on social media. “DAMAGED is an honest diagnosis,” he says, “but diagnosis is the first step to recognizing and solving problems. I definitely think that art can be part of the solution because it can inspire people to look at an issue they might otherwise ignore or reject.”
The app provides a photorealistic 3D replica of the entire exhibition. You can swipe through the pieces with the flick of a finger, or for a more engrossing experience, there’s an augmented reality mode that allows you to “walk” through the warehouse as if you were really there. All the while you have to option to listen to the artist himself talk you through his thought processes for each exhibit.
Even if Shepard’s work doesn’t align with your artistic or political leanings, this is still an engaging experience that shines a spotlight on the potential of virtual art exhibitions. Gone are the days when financial or geographical hurdles can stop you witnessing a show; art fans from around the world can now get a pretty good facsimile of the gallery experience from their own homes. Forget buying a ticket to L.A. – the price of entry here is an iPhone or iPad and a few bucks. ($5/£5 to be specific.)