How Virtual Reality changes the way we experience art

Did you ever find yourself gazing into a painting, wanting to dive deeper into the world created by the artist? The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida created a virtual reality experience which lets you explore Dali’s fascinating surreal paintings unlike ever before.

The exhibition in cooperation with Disney – “Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination” – invited people to explore his work beyond the limitations of the frame. Oculus Rift headsets are used to take the observers on a journey through his desolated landscapes which were built with the same tools used in game development. The particular painting recreated for virtual reality was Dali’s “Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus’” (the picture above on the right ) and features an adult and a child in the front of the picture looking at two giant stone structures surrounded by a desert. The journey starts from the perspective of those people and continues to take one through the entire world of the painting.

As this exhibition shows, Virtual Reality offers a completely new way to experience art and is only at the very beginning of entering our daily life.

While ‚converted‘ art may not offer the best immersion due to its lack of details which have to be added in the process of creating the world around the painting, a new generation of artists is beginning to produce Rirtual-Reality artworks — some for display in galleries, others freely accessible online. This art plunges viewers into fully articulated spaces and brings and end to contemplative distance. In these works, immersion is all.

Artists themselves have embraced Virtual Reality as a medium in its own right. After being presented at several exhibitions over the last years, VR art is pouring out of museums and onto phones. Unlike video games, these artworks are not responsive to users; many of them are tentative explorations of the medium’s potential rather than full-fledged achievements. But it’s only a question of time until artist will be able to capitalize on the full potential of Virtual Reality.

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