With the launch of Artsy for iPhone, our new app that puts the art world in your pocket (and which you should download here), we thought we’d take the occasion to shout out some of our other favorite art-focused apps. Whether made to create art or view it—or even as an artwork itself—these six apps help us envision the future of the digital art world.
Guggenheim Museum: An obvious place to start, the Guggenheim has hands-down our favorite museum app. The design is slick but super friendly, granting you access to their extensive collection and exhibitions. With audio commentary and gorgeous images, their guide to accompany James Turrell’s Aten Reign does the installation justice in mobile form.
DMesh: This highly addictive, self-styled “triangulation image generator” turns your iPhone camera into a Delaunay for the digital age. The app is totally bare-bones (it won’t save your images or let you adjust the camera) but the visual algorithms generate impressively clean, beautiful images of whatever suits your fancy.
Cruz-Diez: Made by the Carlos Cruz-Diez Foundation, this app does the best job of translating an artist’s work to mobile form that we’ve seen, allowing you to play with Cruz-Diez’s signature vocabulary of lines, shapes, and colors to create your own oscillating illusions. Buying the full version of this “Interactive Random Chromatic Experience” supports the Foundation’s initiatives.
Gravilux: Gravilux has no discernible purpose other than to blow your mind with its gorgeous visualizations. Interactive art in its purest form, the app allows you to “draw with stars”, whose parameters (color, size, even gravitational pull) you can infinitely customize.
The Grix: There’s a million pixel editors out there, but what sets The Grix apart is the smart concept at its core. Rather than manipulating individual pixels, the app allows you to create a library of pixel clusters, which become the building blocks for your gorgeous 8-bit compositions. It’s also incredibly fun and addictive.
Paper: Although it’s only on iPad, we couldn’t help but include Paper, made by FiftyThree, in our list. Whether for casual sketches or elaborate illustrations, the app is minimalist, ultra smooth, and without a doubt the best one out there for artists, designers, and other creatives, aspiring or established. We’re not alone in our fandom though: Apple called it their 2012 App of the Year.