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May 28, 2009

Artist uses iPhone to 'paint' New Yorker cover

Posted: 08:33 PM ET

Add one more to all the amazing (and sometimes useless) tasks that can be achieved on an app-loaded iPhone. cover_newyorker_190

Artist Jorge Colombo "painted" the cover of the current issue of The New Yorker using Brushes, an application for his iPhone, while standing for an hour in New York City's Times Square. You can see how he did it at the magazine's blog, which hosts a 51-second video (speeded up, I think) of the virtual picture coming together.

The impressionistic nighttime scene, titled "Finger Painting," depicts a street hot dog vendor and his customers.

"I like using my fingers. I like the quick eyeballing of colors. I like the endless Undo function," Colombo told CNET. "Wish I had a bigger screen, and long drawing sessions depletes my battery. I'm all the time ducking into cafes or restaurants, forcing myself to consume something while I recharge the phone on a socket to go do more drawings."

I'll leave the critics to decide whether it's a great work of art. But as a tech milestone, I think it's pretty cool. A professional painting, done on a smart phone!

Now when the iPhone can make a pizza and open a beer bottle, I may actually buy one.

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David Baker   May 28th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

If it had been done on anything not an iPhone nobody would care.

Leslie   May 29th, 2009 12:43 am ET

As an advertising art director, this makes me equal parts sad and amazed.

SilentBoy741   May 29th, 2009 1:16 am ET

So you stood around for hours dorking around with an iPhone, repeatedly running down its battery, then running around to places to find sockets to charge it back up? Over and over again? And all for that tiny picture? You could have snapped a photo of the scene you wanted, then done the iPhone painting using the photo as a guide, while sitting in comfort at home while the phone is plugged into the wall the whole time, feet up, TV on, coffee and snacks at your elbow. You may be an artist, but you ain't terribly bright, are ya, Sport?

pcgonzales   May 29th, 2009 11:08 am ET

Yeah, it's pretty cool. He shows his creativity.

Diane Sanchez   May 29th, 2009 5:13 pm ET

As a person who likes to dabble in creating art from nothing, I really appreciate what he has done. I hate the negative comments and don't appreciate the demeaning of one person's creative expression. I look forward to more and more. The rest of you haters can take your cameras and click away and not have actually created jack squat.

Forsyth   May 29th, 2009 5:24 pm ET

I speak as an artist and software designer. It's almost as if some of the iPhone critics (haters?) imply, 1) iPhone is nothing special, 2) some people are extremely excited about it, therefore, 3) the excitement is due only to hype. I believe they're missing the point. It's not "technology." It's the great and sometimes revolutionary value of simplicity, ease of use, intuitiveness, and hiding of technical details. That's the magic. I'm sure it required a herculean effort and a tremendous amount of focus to maintain that vision during iPhone creation. And it paid off!

missydean   May 29th, 2009 6:11 pm ET

Hurray! Long live dorks with whatever creative gadget!
Now if we could just some fun like this in the schools.

louisvilleky   May 29th, 2009 7:45 pm ET

WOW, IPHONE this IPHONE that. When the IPHONE can fix the economy and Get Americans Jobs, then I will buy one. It is the Digital PET ROCK.

goodgravey   May 29th, 2009 8:19 pm ET

You guys aren't seeing the big picture. This is like a whole new medium here. Pretty cool

Steven Cravis, San Francisco, CA   May 29th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

Jorge's an amazing artist. Imagine what he'll do with the bigger iPad (or iTablet or whatever it will be called) after it's announced on June 8!

Jim   May 29th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

David- that's kind of the point. It's a unique and interesting application of what at first appears to be very limited technology- but then someone does something like this and it opens all sorts of questions about how far we can push these things and the new roles they are taking in our life. If it was done on canvas, nobody would care; but art is often more about the process than the end result. I'm not an artist but I can still appreciate that.

Ruggy   May 29th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

Yes this is news. This this the first time that such a thing has been possible with a portable device smaller than a cigarette pack, so I'm glad to see the coverage. This is a milestone, but we can expect new apps and hardware to enhance portable creativity even further.

David Baker   May 31st, 2009 8:25 pm ET

Jim – thats not what I meant. I wasn't comparing iPhone to canvas. What I meant was that if it had been done on a Google Android or LG Vu or something, nobody would care and it certainly wouldn't have made headlines on CNN.

People glorify the iPhone way too much.

agent037   June 1st, 2009 7:19 am ET

Bet i can do the same on the LG KP500...!!!

literally09   June 1st, 2009 10:53 am ET

The effort put into this picture makes it good. Not the iPhone not even the picture. The picture itself hasn't got much detail, but what do u expect from a phone? Art is supossed do be different and challenging, not perfect pieces of work. What would you discover about the world and yourself if you only took snap shots of everything, and then copied them perfectly from the comfort of your sofa?

Many thanks to the artist who made this picture, and thank you for demonstrating what positive use of technology can produce.

Mike D   June 1st, 2009 1:03 pm ET

What people dont realize is 40 years ago this would be a bunch of people collaborating to get this task done. All within the office. Now its one person on a device in the middle of a crowded public place. Does this bring us closer to the "paperless-office"??

still-life   June 1st, 2009 3:52 pm ET

Let me borrow your iPhone and I bet I can open a beer bottle with it...
Every new medium broadens the spectrum of what is art. I can't think of a more appropriate place for a tech-toy-Thiebaud to live in the limelight.

Jonathan   June 1st, 2009 5:24 pm ET

It's the Yawn of a New Age in art.

25 Unusual and Inspiring Uses for Your iPhone | iPhone.AppStorm   April 8th, 2010 4:02 pm ET

[...] the iPhone's multi-touch technology, you can turn your iPhone into a digital canvas. In fact, Jorge Colombo has done just that, painting the cover of The New [...]

25 Unusual and Inspiring Uses for Your iPhone | iPhoneApp Dev Blog   April 8th, 2010 5:14 pm ET

[...] the iPhone's multi-touch technology, you can turn your iPhone into a digital canvas. In fact, Jorge Colombo has done just that, painting the cover of The New [...]

i-pad اَي باد   June 26th, 2010 10:35 am ET

[...] اليوم يرسمون أغلفة المجلات الحقيقية المطبوعة على شاشة الـiPhone .. تخيل ماذا سيفعلون [...]

ipad | نوفل بورتال   March 14th, 2011 2:46 pm ET

[...] اليوم يرسمون أغلفة المجلات الحقيقية المطبوعة على شاشة الـiPhone .. تخيل ماذا سيفعلون [...]

iphone 4 cases   October 22nd, 2011 5:22 am ET

the iPhone's multi-touch technology, you can turn your iPhone into a digital canvas. In fact, Jorge Colombo has done just that, painting the cover of The New

25 Unusual and Inspiring Uses for Your iPhone | namaninfotech   August 25th, 2015 7:56 am ET

[...] the iPhone’s multi-touch technology, you can turn your iPhone into a digital canvas. In fact, Jorge Colombo has done just that, painting the cover of The New Yorker. He used a widely popular application called Brushes. Many [...]

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