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This week's New Yorker cover created on iPhone

The pen is mightier than the sword, but the finger trumps them both. Armed with nothing but his trigger-puller and a $4.99 app, an artist created a cover-worthy painting.

Brushes, paints, canvas: unnecessary.

Computers, software, tablets: superfluous.

These days, all you need to create magazine cover-worthy artwork is an iPhone and Steve Sprang's $4.99 Brushes app. Oh, and insane talent.

Those were the ingredients that produced this week's dazzling New Yorker cover, a traditional-looking blurred street scene that looks like an authentic brush-and-canvas painting.

In reality, artist Jorge Colombo finger-painted the image while standing outside Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Times Square. (Side note: I have vivid memories of practicing sleight-of-hand with a quarter while at Madame Tussaud's in London. Guess we all use our downtime differently.)

You can witness the creation of this exceptional piece of artwork in the above video. Although it took Colombo roughly an hour to complete, this accelerated version lasts all of 51 seconds.

No, Colombo didn't hold his iPhone in front of a camcorder for an hour: the Brushes app can record the artist's brush strokes, then replay them using the free Brushers Viewer utility (Mac OS X only).

If you've ever questioned the iPhone's viability as a bona-fide computing platform, this should remove all doubts. How long before someone authors a novel on one? Or composes a symphony? (Actually, a keyboard would really help with both. I'm thinking something Bluetooth. Anyone?)

Personally, I just wish I had a fraction of this guy's artistic talent. Watch the video and see if you share my awe.