Designer Makes Paintings and Statues Smile at the Museum with FaceApp

British designer Olly Gibbs recently did something really fun. He took the popular neural face transformation app FaceApp to the Amsterdam museum, where he used it to… liven a few of the characters up. Somber paintings and sculptures alike transformed in front of his lens.

Unless you’ve been on a strict Internet diet for the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard about FaceApp. The app is simple: using neural networks, it transforms portraits or selfies into a diptych that shows you as you are, smiling, as an old person, and as the opposite gender. The results are always silly, but sometimes eerily accurate.

Never was this more the case than this series of fun and funny images by Olly, who turned a regular old trip to the museum into something better.

“It all started when I climbed a high church tower in Amsterdam with my GF and tried to have a photo. I get vertigo so I wasn’t particularly happy being up there especially with it being windy. We had the photo and my smile was more of a grimmace so my GF showed me FaceApp which added a realistic smile which saved the photo,” Olly tells PetaPixel. “We then went to the Rijksmuseum for some culture and noticed all the paintings looked just as miserable so she suggested we used the app on them.”

The original transformation inspired Olly, and the duo began snapping pictures of the most somber, miserable characters they could find at the museum.

“We went all round the museum finding the grumpiest paintings and sculptures to brighten up. Made quite a few, posted on Twitter and it blew up,” says Olly, referring to the viral fame his creations have earned him. “I’ve gone viral before with my jar jar binks posters, but this seems to be more fun as it genuinely is putting a real smile on people’s faces and hopefully inspiring people to go to museums and galleries!”

“It’s just a stupid thing to go viral for,” continues Olly, “but as long as people are smiling and taking away something positive from it then I’m happy!” Here’s a look at all of their creations from the museum, which Olly was kind enough to send our way for this feature:

Knowing that viral fame is short lived and fickle, Olly is trying to put this spike of attention to good use by asking people who see the series to support a charity event he’s taking part in next week.

“I’m walking 100km from London to Brighton (the distance is the equivalent to 2 1/2 marathons) in the UK and raising money for a charity called Dogs for Good,” Olly told PetaPixel. “They train assistance dogs to help those with physical difficulties to live their lives easier as well as using dogs to assist those with autism. Essentially trying to push that if my photos made people smile, how about they make others smile by helping them by donating to change lives.”

You can find his sponsorship page at this link. If you enjoyed the photos above, please consider helping out.

Image credits: All photos by Olly Gibbs and used with permission.