Artist favoured by rock legends Bowie and T. Rex first to use new VR space.
A new virtual reality art gallery will open its doors to the public for the first time in Brighton this month, with an exhibition of work by the iconic British artist George Underwood.
The exhibition, a collaboration between Brighton VR lab Gallery Ghost and Underwood, who made his name painting album covers for rock legends including David Bowie, T. Rex and Procol Harum, is one of the first of its kind and will be seen as a litmus test of how effectively VR can be utilised by artists and curators working in non-digital media.
The exhibition will feature paintings from Underwood’s dreamlike ‘Warriors’ collection, as well as selected portraits of Bowie and other stars. The paintings are displayed in a virtual space designed to replicate the experience of viewing art in a real gallery setting.
“The possibilities are endless. I could feel the future breathing down my neck” – George Underwood
Gallery Ghost worked closely with Underwood to ensure each painting was reproduced as accurately as possible, including details such as texture, tone and lighting.
“Seeing my work displayed in this way for the first time has been amazing, like entering a parallel universe,” said Underwood. “I didn’t know what to expect when I put the VR headset on, but it looked far better than I ever imagined. The gallery is so realistic I almost expected a friend to wonder in and say ‘hey George, how are you doing?’
“This kind of technology will allow art to be enjoyed by more people. You could recreate the National Gallery and show it to someone in Australia. The possibilities are endless, I could feel the future breathing down my neck.”
Gallery Ghost co-founder Andy Baker, who led technical development of the project, is optimistic that VR gallery spaces will soon be the norm in the arts and culture sector.
“VR technology has now reached a point where artists and gallery owners can use it to display work created in traditional media and be confident that the virtual environment will do it justice,” he said.
“Bringing art to a wider audience has always been fraught with logistical problems, which are all solved by VR. Geographic location, transport, framing, gallery capacity; all that ceases to be an issue. In a virtual space you can display what you want to whoever you like, anywhere in the world, at any time. The fact that a professional artist of George’s calibre is willing to collaborate on a project of this sort shows how fast things are moving forward.”
Tickets for this exhibition have now SOLD OUT. For news about future Gallery Ghost events or to arrange a demo email [email protected]