Art | May 23, 2017 5:00 am

Russian Artist Creates Versions of His Paintings in VR

Alex Andreev gave his dreamscapes another dimension by using augmented and virtual reality.

(Alex Andreev/Google Maps)
(Alex Andreev/Google Maps)

Google Maps helps guide people to their destination, and in one artist’s case that’s straight to a dystopian fantasy world.

Alex Andreev creates digital paintings of surrealist landscapes. The Russian artist makes them truly immersive by building them with augmented reality (VR) and virtual reality (VR) technology.

On Google Maps, Andreev has created a series of 3D dreamscapes that can be explored just like any other real location on the mapping platform. The otherworldly vistas are dotted with floating objects and landmasses.

To let viewers fully step into his surreal world, the artist collaborated with graphic designer Mikhail Ershov to create a VR app called “A Separate Reality.” A VR headset is required to fully appreciate the view.

Andreev’s goal with his art to return to his childhood state of imagination. In an artist statement on his website, he says digital art is more liberating than analog art.

“It sounds paradoxical but digital art attracts me because it is free of technological influence,” he writes. “While in traditional arts technologies dramatically limit the artist—his ability to stylize works in graphics or extremely time consuming process of paint drying, in digital painting, I sit in front of a screen, grab the stylus and see the result immediately.”