Google art and the pig's ass
I abhor the "exclusive" nature of many art experiences. Google has gone along the road towards ending that. I applaud them - but there is another exclusiveness - that of the exclusion of many great museums art galleries and the exclusion of their art. - and that is the worrying one. The hi-res images are minimal in relation to the actual art in those art galleries and dangerously selective. Picasso's Guernica is missing. Is this because it's the reason most art lovers visit the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, and the gallery want to protect its foot traffic? If true, that leaves a nasty taste.
Google's announced a major expansion to the Art Project to now encompass 151 museums from 40 countries. An improved website with new Google+ features, 18 languages, enhanced search capabilities, and a series of educational tools that could yet make this a fabulous, unique internet resource.
Yes, I use it. Yes, I'll continue to do so. But will it stop me swinging up those worn, marble steps to the doors of the great art museums and experiencing the chill of their aircon and the thrill of being within touching distance of the works of the great art masters? Will it replace seeing another person stop and gaze with excitement at a painting they have only ever seen in books. In a pig's ass it will.