A few years back, everyone’s Facebook feed was suddenly littered with pictures of people comparing themselves to portraits in museums. The meme started with people who actually found art on their own that happened to look like them and has now extended to people posting pictures of art that sort of kind of looks like them if you look at if from far away and squint a little bit.
But years later, it’s still a fun thing to do and you don’t have to hit your local museum to make the magic happen. With the Google Arts & Culture App, you can do it without leaving your couch.
The app, which is available for iOS and Android, is loaded with art from 1000 different museums around the world. A new feature adds the ability to search all those archives against your pictures to see if you can find a match.
To find your alleged doppelganger, load the app and scroll down on the welcome page until you see the “Art Selfie” prompt. From there, tap “Get Started” and then the on-screen instructions will walk you through taking a picture of your face (you can’t use an existing pic, only one you take in the moment).
Your mileage will vary. I’ve had a few friends post pictures that do in fact sort of resemble them. Whenever I do it, and regardless of my facial expression or even if I’m wearing sunglasses, Google is convinced I, well, 55 per cent of my face, looks like “The Baptism” by Antonio Donghi. I disagree, but I guess we’re kind of sort of similar? Maybe I can see it. I can definitely say that if I walked past this one in a museum I probably wouldn’t stop at all, much less stop and snap a selfie.
Me, trying to look like my museum twin
Your portrait match is likely to be as accurate as mine, but the Arts & Culture app can be a pretty solid thing to have on your phone in general if you’re into art. Yes, you can do this portrait search, but you can also check out collections of art from around the globe that you might otherwise never be able to see. The app also organises art into different themes. For instance, right now you can browse through a collection of Maya art, get a tour of Italy, and explore Japan’s craftsmanship.
It’s a fun way to get a little culture while you’re on the train or waiting in line and ultimately a lot more rewarding than that less-than-perfect portrait match.
This article has been updated since its original publication.