New York, New York – What has everybody from professional artists to creative kids all torn up? It’s “Tear Art,” the new app just launched by Aurnhammer, a leading developer of creative tools for Apple family of mobile platforms. “Tear Art” is how self-portraits by Picasso and van Gogh were merged in alternating, jagged stripes that reveal that how much their visions had in common. “Tear Art” is why a headshot of that politician you love to hate is juxtaposed with the cover of “Milli Vanilli’s Greatest Hits.” And “Tear Art” is the tool that makes instant artists of users ranging from teenagers to retirees, in whose hands it reinvents existing pictures to create new images that are often funny and sometimes shocking, but always deeply personal and original.
The “Tear Art” app is based on the creative visual technique pioneered in Paris during the late 1940s, when legendary nouveau realisme artists like Francois Dufrene and Mimmo Rotella combined mass market visuals with street art by tearing off sections of posters on public walls, partially revealing the layers of earlier posters beneath. The resulting juxtapositions were by turns comical, jarring, ironic, and strangely beautiful.
The new “Tear Art” app brings this opportunity for spontaneous creativity and “accidental” art to Apple’s suite of mobile platforms. By dragging a finger across the screen, a “Tear Art” user slashes away at the top image, uncovering what is below. (Dragging quickly creates a bigger tear; dragging slowly makes a smaller, more precise cut.) “Tear Art” comes with five layers of pre-loaded images, plus a tool to import additional images from the user’s own libraries of photos and album covers, or from anywhere on the web. The images created by “Tear Art” users can also be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and a slew of other social media platforms, as well as through e-mail. “Tear Art” has especially captivated users of Instagram, where users are creating and sharing images at a furious pace, alternately inspiring and competing with each other. On Instagram and Twitter, indexing pieces of “Tear Art” with hashtags makes it easy not only to share, but also to search for works themed to a user’s specific interests.
“‘Tear Art’ is already being used in ways we hadn’t thought of,” says Aurnhammer president and co-founder Paul McCarthy. “Because we made it so simple to use, kids and amateurs love it. But professional artists, liberated from complexity, are also embracing ‘Tear Art’ as a way to blend the intentional and incidental in ways that surprise even themselves.”
“Tear Art” is inspired by the decollage movement that took hold among European artists in the mid-20th century. Named for the French word meaning “to take off” or “unglue,” decollage was both literally and figuratively the opposite of collage, which seeks to create art by adding new elements. Decollage instead reveals art by stripping away pieces of what is already there. Artists like Marcel Marien wandered the streets of European cities slashing away pieces of advertising and public notices, exposing (and juxtaposing) the layers of previous images hidden beneath. The resulting “lacerated posters” became a movement among Surrealists, and are now remembered as some of the earliest examples of Pop Art.
“The creative spark that inspired the first pieces of ‘Tear Art’ decades ago are still there in everybody,” said Bill Aurnhammer, co-founder and CEO of Aurnhammer. “It is an impulse that’s spontaneous and a little bit rebellious. But the opportunity to practice decollage in the 21st century has almost disappeared: Street posters have been largely replaced by flat-panel LCD screens, and trying to tinker with either one might get you arrested. So we’ve created a digital palette and tool that lets everybody try their hand at revealing what’s buried beneath the surface.”
“‘Tear Art’ lets anybody mix not only different images, but also textures and exposures and other media, like type,” agrees McCarthy. “And this format allows users to select the images they’ll be working with, rather than being limited to what they happen to find. And being able to choose pictures that have a personal significance leverages the technology to allow for a much deeper kind of creativity. Pulling layers away from the surface is not only fun – it can actually reveal to you things about yourself.”
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.3 or later
* 9.3 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Tear Art 1.2 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photo & Video category.
Aurnhammer LLC, a MacHammer company, is a creative media, design and development firm specializing in branded smart device applications for the mobile space. Company founders, Bill Aurnhammer and Paul McCarthy, have a combined 40 years media, design and development experience, providing creative solutions for clients such as: Sony Music Entertainment, Showtime Networks, Kohler, The New York Jets, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Lumber Liquidators, Bass Pro Shops, Mass Mutual, Bowers & Wilkins, Extra Innings, Getty Images, Oldcastle, The Milwaukee Bucks, Lincoln Center, Stanley Hand Tools, Russian Standard Vodka, Clorox, Century 21 Real Estate, Planet Fitness and Viacom. Copyright (C) 2011 Aurnhammer LLC. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.