When art-inspired emoji went viral

  • AFP
  • Updated: Mar 20, 2015 14:32 IST

The art world has been buzzing this week about a new set of emoji that have been inspired by the many faces of the photographer Cindy Sherman - just one of many recent examples of art taking the humble smiley face to new levels.

Who can forget #emojiarthistory, the great viral art meme of 2013? A clever Tumblr post was picked up by Brooklyn-based artist Man Bartlett, and gave way to a flurry of interpretations of famous works using strings of emoticons.

Highlights from its heyday include the Getty Museum's interpretation of Dutch artist Rembrandt, emoji of American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, and clever takes on Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei and American artist Grant Wood's painting, American Gothic.

Here are a few things that have happened since:

Cindy Sherman-icon: With her prolific series of transformative self-portraits, Cindy Sherman offers the perfect vehicle for expressing oneself in few words. Seoul-born, New York-based designer Hyo Hong's Cindy Sherman-icon project offers a set of emoticons taken from the artist's works to suit any occasion.

The Garden of Emoji Delights: Carla Gannis's large-scale triptych comprises digitally collaged emoji and animated characters that are incorporated into Hieronymus Bosch's painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Her work most recently went on show this month at an annual art fair in New York, USA.

Hi-Art: Artist Nico Dios, formerly of graffiti crew Irak, goes a step beyond emoji, offering larger-format and more complex stickers via Hi-Art, the app he co-founded. Users can create their own to emoticons add to the library, or choose from packs created by artists and celebrities.

Yung Jake: Artist and rapper Yung Jake has made a name for himself creating faces of celebrities such as Bill Murray, Pharrell Williams and Cara Delevingne made entirely out of emoji.

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