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Video Games Get Arty asks: 'What if games got arty?'

With millions of fans worldwide, art is a billion-dollar industry. Mentions in magazines, films and TV series clearly indicate that art is gaining increasing mainstream acceptance. But the question remains: can art aspire to the level of games? One website asks that question, inserting characters from the beloved milieu of games into several popular works of art. The results aren't just thought-provoking: some are works of beauty almost worthy of games themselves.

With art's notorious history of graphically portraying sexuality and violence, works like Botticelli's Birth of Venus have to be toned down a little before they're classy enough to incorporate gaming icons like Soul Calibur's Ivy. And those who complain that much art is all drab grays and browns will be disappointed to see the visually dynamic Shadow of the Colossus reduced to such a palette. However, the results of Photoshop-maestro Guillaume Colomb's efforts show that indeed, much art is almost ready to be exhibited alongside videogames.

See the full collection at Colomb's site, Video Games Get Arty, then head back here and let us know which one you like best. Warning: this is art we're talking about, so some images are a bit NSFW.

May 18, 2011

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12 comments

  • CitizenWolfie - May 19, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    They all look very obviously Photoshopped. A bit disappointing really. The only ones that stood out were the Rabbids one and Mario falling into the lake as the reactions of the other figures in them work well.
  • JamesT - May 19, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    First and second paragraphs were hilarious.
  • toastile - May 19, 2011 5:03 a.m.

    That Shadow of the Colossus one looks awesome!
  • SausageLozenge - May 18, 2011 11:24 p.m.

    Nothing says art more than high scores, life bars, achievements, game over screens, and product placement!
  • Gameguy94 - May 18, 2011 10:36 p.m.

    Pretty cool to be honest. Although Mario looked out of place in quite a few of those paintings. i'd like to see Kratos placed in an Ancient Greek painting or Ezio and Altair in paintings of the time period they're supposed to be from.
  • FauxFurry - May 18, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    Rather than see game icons imitate figures in other works of art rendered in non-interactive media, I'd rather see games behave more like art, challenging social conventions unflinchingly, especially those which the developers personally take issue with, be they political in nature or matters of social inequalities. In other words, besides having more 'gay options', we might see more costuming options such as those in Age of Conan that ignores any sexist double standards that were picked up during a misstep along the way when humans were trying desperately to look more civilized but manage to make themselves look as if they have less self control than tribal cultures that they look down upon, a game or two dealing almost entirely with rebuilding in the aftermath of a large scale conflict as a sequel to a big blockbuster shooter, games played from the perspective of one of the civilians in a clash of civilizations who seeks justice for the wrongs committed by those who claim to be there to free him/her from her/his wrong-headed way of life, or simply a strategy game that includes all of the underhanded tactics used in real-life to win wars. Games are just too tame when it comes to moral issues right now to be seriously considered art...well, some of them can be seen as gorier,slightly more titillating versions of Norman Rockwell paintings, as they tend to be celebrations of the cultures the works are made in as they currently stand and nothing more.
  • ThatFanInThePeacoat - May 18, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    I have mixed feelings about this. First, I'd rather see videogames themselves get more "arty" (of course, many already are), or more original art inspired by games (which, again, there are already a lot, but there can never be enough). It is an interesting concept to put Super Mario in a Salvador Dali painting, since the Mushroom kingdom is quite surreal, but why just plainly shop Mario in there? His regular self doesn't look like it fits in well with the warped elephants and castles. Why not make an original surrealist work inspired by both Mario and Dali? If it's done right, a fan should still be able to recognize the character even if he/she has been stylized. This method of photoshop looks more like something to make parodies of the paintings and videogames rather than an attempt to blend the "fine arts" with videogames.
  • jackthemenace - May 18, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    Beautiful, but I'm not sure what point they're trying to get across. Especially the 'Picasso alone' one, which seems to have nothing to do with Gaming at all. Although I do like the inclusion of Mario in the Salvador Dali. Yes kids, that's what Mushrooms do to you. Oh, and LOLWUT BEWBZ IZ HAWT.
  • chilarome - May 18, 2011 8:16 p.m.

    Interesting to look at to say the least...
  • JMAN1156 - May 18, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    I think it is arguable that Borderlands was arty, at least in the graphics, and The Path is defiantly arty, and I adore that game.
  • Ded - May 18, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    Not really very great.. That SotC one looks good though.
  • dphoenix192 - May 18, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    Is there anymore than the 10 that I saw on the website? Although some of them were really good, I personally think I have seen some better fan art than that. The Mario and Peach ones were not that good.

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