Sure, you could leave a random monolith in Utah and get some notoriety for your street art. Or, you can let others put your art anywhere they’d like with augmented reality so they can appreciate it where they are.
That’s what artists like Marina Abramovic, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, KAWS, and others are doing with the Acute Art app.
The Acute Art app, which is available for iOS and Android, lets users view digital works of art in their physical environment, alter shadows and lighting (even with artificial light at night), and capture them in photos and videos for sharing with others.
The app launched with some fanfare in March, when the “Companions” sculpture by KAWS took center stage. A miniature version of the sculpture is available in the app for free. In-app purchases, ranging from $1.99 for a 30-day license for one sculpture to $30.99 for three KAWS sculptures, allows users access to life-size replicas. That might sound pricey to those unfamiliar with the art world but remember, a banana taped to a wall sold for $120,000.
“When I realized the quality that could be achieved and experienced in AR, I was immediately drawn to its potential. I have been creating objects and exhibiting works in public spaces throughout my career, and this allows me to expand on that in a whole new arena,” said KAWS in a statement. “The possibilities of locations and scale are endless, and I’m excited to start a new dialogue in this medium.”
More recently, the Unreal City public festival in London has anchored 36 AR sculptures from Nina Chanel Abney, Olafur Eliasson, Cao Fei, Alicja Kwade, Koo Jeong A, Marco Brambilla, Darren Bader, KAWS, Bjarne Melgaard, and Tomás Saraceno on the banks of the Thames.
Speaking of that afore-mentioned mysterious (alien? art project?) monolith, if you’d like to place it wherever you’d like without having to steal it in the middle of the night, and you have an iPhone or an iPad, one enterprising artist has recreated the piece here for your AR enjoyment.