Ancient Art Gets Modern
by Patrick Ogle
Essentially these mosaics are a large image of an artist (in most cases) made up of smaller pictures of the same artist. But it is more than just that.
“It is art with a mobile app. Every single photo that makes up the collage you can load and send. Each has information attached. This takes a thousand year old art form and, literally, brings it into the 20th Century.” says Schweiger. “The Dead took pictures from each show on tour. There is also a video. Behind every small picture is a story about The Dead.”
This is the basic M.O. for all the mosaics. And you do not have to own the actual artwork to get the virtual images. You can download the mosaics at the Apple Store.
“With most of the apps we have artist’s approval. We could do a Bob Dylan but haven’t out of respect. We want the artists on our side.” he says.
Mosaic Legends do the work and the art and that art leads back to the artist’s work and artist websites (and might well add to the revenue stream). Having the right to do it is one thing but having the artist co-operation can make the experience special for the fan.
And it isn’t just artists that are represented here.
“Essence magazine has a mosaic made up of every Essence cover for 40 years.” says Schweiger.
And, as you might imagine there are commercial applications. The American Museum of Natural History in NYC has a mosaic with dinosaurs and an educational application. But if you are not in the mood for prehistory education and are still a fan of New York the Derek Jeter mosaic may be more your speed. Sports memorabilia items are offered in conjunction with Steiner Sports. They have a version under $1,000. Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and other Yankees are represented.
“We do private commissions, work with advertising companies and have done sponsorships.” he says.
But probably the most interesting and informative are the music pieces.
“I learned so much about Bob Marley with this app that I wanted to buy his first album again.” says Schweiger.
There are three components to these pieces: the fine art print, the mobile app and the web images. Every single picture that makes up the mosaic can be uploaded. There are those, steeped in the fine arts and disdainful of cold hard cash that might dismiss these pieces. They can feel free to do so but the pieces are clever and, if nothing else, they offer fans a unique way to own a piece of an artist’s career. It also is something of a springboard of the imagination. Sure Mosaic Legends’ aims are commercial. Making art IS actually a job (or it is to be hoped that it is). But this sort of use of, incorporation of, technology certainly has applications for less commercially minded artists. What specifically? I have no idea. I’d leave that to the artists.
The exhibition that is currently up at the Co-Op, Wet, is there until January 10.