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Legit Museum of Fine Arts Online by Konie Kim

LMFAO started as I realized that I(and many others) know what the Mona Lisa(Leonardo Davinci 1503-1517), Scream(Edvard Munch, 1893), Self Portrait with Seven Fingers(Marc Chagall, 1913), etc., looked like, without even looking at it. Thanks to the internet, I ‘saw’ countless artworks before, which to some degree made me uninterested in going to other art galleries or museums in general. So the thought to bring an online museum, which essentially nullifies the necessity of real life museums, was born.

When I opened up a simple Google search to gather my source images, however, there were just so many images of the same piece. Each art piece had over 100 images to look at, almost all of them differing only the slightest. I was unsure as of which image to take; which one was closest to the original?

The obvious solution was simple: put them all together to form one super image, which contains all the similarities and differences and every small detail that every image had uniquely captured. I downloaded 50 images of each painting and resized/reoriented each to match up. Once they were placed neatly, I dropped the opacity of each layer to 5%. This final product would be the ultimate image, the perfect replica of the original.

I noticed that almost all of the 400 images I’ve downloaded were in Jpeg format, with less than 5 being png(and 2 .file files. what?). This reminded me of Cory Arcangel’s article OnC about compression of JPEG files and how it was flooding the internet’s imagery. "JPEGs are everywhere today because they have become a standard, or a universally agreed upon set of rules.” It was only natural that I use the exact same file format to present my pieces - fully aware of the diminishing results it could bring to the image. The downloadable PSD files are essential in making the whole project integral, adding a new layer of what could and what is.

While working on the images themselves, I also decided to shape the museum in a very realistic(ally sarcastic) way. I wanted to jab on the way some museums operate, limiting the view of certain art works and providing what they thought was the ‘best’ presentation of each piece. I gave the museum its own guide and commentary that depicted my thought process of creating each piece. The incorporation of the meme guy was somewhat spontaneous and impulsive but it felt necessary. He was dubbed ‘the child of the internet,’ as inspired by the documentary screened in class, and it felt even more fitting. I wanted to fill him up with memes, so that he would be truly the embodiment of the net world, something that in mentioned in the article about 4chan and Internet memes, by Brad Troemel. And to top it all, I have a donation button on the front page, and disabled returning the museum once you’ve left.

So, welcome to the Legit Museum of Fine Arts Online, the online art experience that will top that of real life!