Brian Cox Augmented Reality Portrait Painting
When I first met Brian to begin my preparatory work for my augmented reality (AR) portrait of him two things especially stood out to me.
I’d submitted the painting to the Scottish Portrait Awards with the hope that my tech-fuelled artwork would pique the interest of the judging panel but unfortunately the painting didn't win. The competition of course was exceptional popular with most of the country's top portrait painters involved. Nevertheless, good things have come out of my tech artwork and I was over the moon when I was offered a solo exhibition at the Scottish Parliament in December. The opening event will be held in the Robert Burns conference room and will be attended by MSPs, visiting delegates, the Director of Creative Scotland and guests from the Scottish arts, media, tech and business sectors. It's a wonderful opportunity and I’m really looking forward to introducing the attendees to a new and innovative way of viewing paintings. Onwards and upwards.
I've attached and collaged various meaningful objects into the painting including a clapper board (if you look closely you can see I've signed the painting next to 'Director'), some of Brian's famous movie quotes, jute cloth and rope, old photographs of Dundee and some more personal photos of Brian's parents and one of him with his friend and mentor Fulton Mackay (under the rope). Another very innovative feature of this painting are the near field communication (NFC) tags embedded around the added objects and photos. Viewers can simply hover their smartphone near to each tag to engage more video content from our conversation. During our meeting Brian recounted an entertaining story about a conversation he had with Fulton Mackay and this video clip will be accessible via a smartphone and the NFC tag under the photograph. This really is a unique painting in that it is not only a painterly representation of the actor but with the physical pieces added to it it helps to build an even more complete picture of the person. Moreover, the cutting edge technological elements bring the portrait to life like no other painting before it.
Selfie with work in progress below. If you look closely you can see an NFC tag top right near the quote (the metallic, round object) and pages/photos from Brian's book Salem to Moscow: An Actor's Odyssey also collaged into the painting as I worked on it.
Watch a demo of the AR portrait in action
The exhibition will take place in the Garden Lobby of the Scottish Parliament with special event night on 14 Dec.
Brian's reaction to my augmented reality painting demonstration