July 20th, 2020
Every industry has been affected by COVID-19, and the art world is no exception. Content creation requires a new level of imagination as many artists figure out how to approach their work within the confines of shelter in place.
Google Pixel’s Creator Labs program, an incubator for photographers and directors launched in Q4 2019, faced these new challenges as well. But the program’s simplicity actually aided the artists. Because Pixel was their primary tool, Creator Labs artists were able to explore ideas that came to them in quarantine, through an unfiltered lens. Given Pixel features like 4K video, Portrait Mode, and HDR+, no complicated camera setups or highly produced shots were necessary.
Many flipped the camera on themselves, exploring the fluid dynamic between artist and muse. Myles Loftin, an artist based in New York who focuses on themes including identity and marginalized people in his work, dug deeper into exploring the importance of intimacy right now. “Taking self-portraits has been one of the main things that have helped me pass the time during the last few months. I feel like being indoors for so long I’ve been so much more in tune with myself and my body,” Myles says. “The Pixel makes it easy for me to set up really quickly and take self-portraits whenever I want.”
Another artist, who goes by the alias Glassface, took a look at the tension of our new virtual work lives. “Nothing kills creativity like fear or depression. And often, nothing helps heal and reshape our mental health like creativity itself,” he explains. “Isolation is a tough pill to swallow, but often it breeds incredible work.”
Other artists featured in the project include Mayan Toledano, June Canedo, Joshua Kissi, Tim Kellner, Andrew Thomas Huang and Anthony Prince Leslie. While quarantine certainly changed how they worked, it also inspired them to investigate this era from a new lens. Anthony perhaps best articulated what the process was like: “Work during quarantine has really changed my perspective. I now remember what it feels like to be present—moving at a pace where there is no peripheral blur on my tunnel vision. As a director, I’m inspired by people and their connections to each other.”
You can discover more Pixel-made art, including the work of several Pixel Creator Labs artists, on our Pixel Instagram page.