Google Arts & Culture's art selfies are bringing fun back to the internet


The company said it won't use data from photos for any other objective but to match it with images in its catalog. You can use a VPN to get Google to think you're in the US if you really want to try.

It's as simple as scrolling down until you see the "Is your portrait in a museum?" box.

Though anyone can download and use the Google Arts & Culture app, the new feature is now region locked to U.S. and not available in India and other countries.

That's thanks to a certain feature, called "Is your portrait in a museum?", which uses facial recognition technology to couple a selfie with a portrait from a famous art gallery. However, do not open the app immediately after downloading. Though users in most of the United States can happily match their selfies to Google's art database, anyone in Texas and IL is left out for now.

Though the Google Arts & Culture app has been available since 2016, the find-your-art-lookalike feature was released with its latest update in mid-December. Boom. You've got portraits. We're hopeful this Google is just refining this experiment before it launches across the country - but the fine art selfie craze could be over before everyone has access. Me too. Couldn't find the face matching thing?

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As you can see here, the main interface of the Google Arts & Culture selfie comparison tool is a selfie camera.

You can tell the app is analyzing your face because of the various colored lines animating all over the screen, and because it's gone black and white. For instance, when Hyperallergic provided it with a picture of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, it matched it with a portrait by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, the contemporaneous Milanese painter to whom "Salvator Mundi" has been attributed by some - maybe the algorithm knows more than its letting on.

Celebrities are getting in on the fun as well.

The feature appeared roughly a month ago, but first went unnoticed due to the lack of promotion.