What is art? This is a question that has vexed and perplexed artists, philosophers, and viewers for quite some time. There's a new wrinkle in the debate, created by a collection of iPhone oil paintings.
No, these aren't works on canvas generated with a brush and oil paints. These are abstract designs rendered from the layer of accumulated grease on an iPhone's screen.
The artist behind these images, J.K. Keller, has curated a collection of animated GIFs to really show off the fine lines and smudges of his masterpieces. Some take the form of hypnotic vortexes. Some play with reflected light to make them look waterlike.
How does Keller prepare his iPhone canvas? By rubbing it all over his face. Hey, some artists have unusual methods. You could probably get similar results by eating a bucket of fried chicken and then texting all your buddies about it.
Perhaps Keller is the Jackson Pollock of his time, exploring a sense of chaos contained within the boundaries of his unusual canvas.
One wipe of a microfiber cloth can destroy these oil paintings, leaving us to deeply ponder the impermanence of technology... or that we really should clean our screens more often.