Tuesday, November 19, 2019
ApplicationVirtual Reality

How Virtual Reality Takes Art to the Next Level

Virtual reality technology is taking traditional art forms to new heights.


Virtual reality is an immersive technology that takes its users on a three-dimensional journey. It’s making waves in nearly every other industry, including the world of art. The marriage of technology and art has enabled artists to create all-new experiences for enthusiasts. Without a doubt, VR has brought art exhibits to new heights.

Let’s take a look at how VR has been taking art to the next level. Furthermore, we’ll delve into its most interesting applications in art.

Art at New Heights

We have a long way to go before virtual reality becomes ubiquitous in society. It is still in its nascent stages. Nevertheless, it’s showing incredible potential to reshape the world as we know it.

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Using headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, artists have been able to produce their creations in a virtual space. For example, Art Basel teamed up with Google for an art project in Hong Kong. They enlisted the help of renowned artists to paint virtual artworks using Tilt Brush. Traditional Chinese painter Yang Yongliang and award-winning artist Sun Xun were enlisted for this project. Multimedia artist Cao Fei, street art performer Robin Rhode, and performance artist Boychild also joined the team.

Launched in 2016, Google’s Tilt Brush is a 3D drawing and painting app. It lets artists walk around their art. Moreover, it allows them to share their work as room-sized immersive experiences or bite-sized GIFs.

Virtual Reality as an Exhibition Space

synthesis gallery - virtual reality gallery
‘A New Jerusalem’ – Michael Takeo Magruder / synthesis gallery, September 2019.

As a result of cutting-edge apps, we’re seeing a growing number of virtual art exhibits. Last year, Synthesis Gallery, the world’s first-ever VR-centered gallery, made its debut. It promotes a new wave of visionaries who are breathing life into traditional art forms.

Other institutions have utilized VR to make art accessible within a simulated environment. One such example is the DSL Collection. Designed to democratize art, this collection is a VR museum that people can access through VIVEPORT. It is free from the limitations of physical galleries, and anyone can get a closer look at the 30 large-scale pieces in this collection. Paris-based collectors Sylvain and Dominique Lévy funded the initiative.

Virtual Reality in Auction Houses

Even the world’s oldest auction house, Sotheby’s, is delving into immersive technologies. For instance, they used 360-degree VR experiences to show viewers what it feels like to be inside a painting. They commissioned designers to create a virtual world around famous paintings using the Oculus Rift headset.

Sotheby’s utilized VR for their surrealist sale. In return, they were able to reach new audiences, especially tech-savvy buyers. They have launched four VR initiatives that highlight famous works, such as Moment de Transition by Salvador Dalí.

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Using VR, art enthusiasts and collectors can observe the painting up close and inspect every single element of the surrealist painting. Furthermore, they can indulge in an immersive experience, set in the world of the artwork.

VR offers the art world something unique, which both the artist and the viewer can indulge in. In the years to come, we can expect new applications to further change the way we experience art.


Gergana Mileva
the authorGergana Mileva
Based in Prague, CZ, Geri is a freelance journalist and writer, focusing on technology, finance, and marketing.