Watch CBS News

New Exhibition in San Francisco Brings Art to Life Through Technology

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A new art exhibit in San Francisco is paying tribute to technology in a way you've likely never seen.

The secret life of machines can be uncovered at "Renaissance 2.0," now open at Modernism West, located inside Foreign Cinema in San Francisco's Mission District.

There is more than meets the eye once visitors hold up their phones to the canvas. Each robot portrait is enhanced with an augmented reality app.

"Paintings are quiet and still, and they don't move, but machines are all about movement and make sounds," said artist Agnieszka Pilat. "So I thought augmented reality is the way to bring life out of them, so it's very important to me."

Pilat, a Bay Area artist who is originally from Poland, is widely known as the first classically trained artist to use this kind of technology to a layer of movement to her work.

As an artist in residence at Boston Dynamics, she studied the movements of Spot the robotic dog, and even taught her to paint.

One of the paintings done by the famed robot is headed for auction at Sotheby's in New York City.

Pilat said she initially set out to paint portraits of Spot, but her 12-piece collection evolved as she connected with the machine.

"My dream is to have a day when people are not scared of technology and use it for the betterment of humanity," said Pilat.

Pilat also hopes to introduce the younger, Silicon Valley crowd to the typically older art world.

"I thought it was really interesting, and the applications for the technology and art going forward are probably unlimited," said Michael Robbat of San Francisco, who checked out the exhibit Friday evening.

Half of the 'Renaissance 2.0' collection has already sold. You can see all the pieces through the end of October.

"Everything important in the world right now is happening in Silicon Valley and in the same way The Renaissance happened, the changes will make the world a different place," said Pilat. "There's no going back."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.