‘Alex Israel X Snapchat’


The Bass Museum of Art, Miami, US


Press release

'Alex Israel x Snapchat’ is a unique collaboration between the Los Angeles-based artist and Snap. Invited to work with Snap’s advanced augmented reality team to expand upon his multi-disciplinary practice, Israel has created five augmented reality experiences, each linked to one of his Self-Portrait paintings. Five Lenses, unleashed in your smartphone, overlay Snap’s groundbreaking AR onto Israel’s physical works to give viewers an entirely new experience of painting. A site-specific sixth work leverages Snap’s Landmarker technology and interacts with the museum’s historic Art Deco façade. 
‘Alex Israel x Snapchat’ includes ive of Israel’s iconic Self-Portraits, each enhanced by Snap’s Marker Tracking: technology that connects a digital, AR experience to a custom, physical object. The painted panels become portals to immersive, animated experiences. Self-Portrait (Drive) is a looping, psychedelic joyride through Israel and Snap’s hometown, Los Angeles. In other works, viewers will encounter the most ubiquitous of LA/Miami flora: a palm tree, a pelican by the sea, and a dancing avocado, each central to its own surreal adventure. A brand-new experience, Self-Portrait (The Painter), blends video and AR, with Israel performatively “painting” his Self-Portrait logo in digital light on a transparent fourth wall before magically breaking it.

Outside the museum, a site-specific sixth work uses Snap’s Landmarker technology and interacts with the museum’s historic Art Deco façade. Exaggerating the museum’s role as frame or vessel for art, Israel has repurposed the entire building as a pedestal for himself. Giant-sized and animated as a virtual sculpture, Israel’s avatar sits cross-legged, accompanied by Disney-esque critters in a pop-up enchanted forest, enlightened by a Baroque art history book.