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You’ll be amazed at how real this virtual gallery tour seems

Written by
Howard Halle

New York's art world may be down, but it's certainly not out. Although the current health crisis has closed the city's museums and galleries, many of them have responded to the situation by moving online, creating various virtual experiences that include tours of institutional exhibitions and collections, as well as online viewing rooms that allow you to visit shows at galleries in Chelsea and elsewhere.

The latter range in digital complexity from straightforward postings of imagery to museum-quality showcases with the web equivalent of wall texts and labels. One gallery, though, has pulled out the stops by employing 360-degree VR technology to present their latest offering.

Turn Gallery is a small venue on the Lower East Side, which mostly focuses on emerging artists like Farshad Farzankia and Mason Saltarrelli, who’ve joined forces to present a exhibition of collaboratively painted canvases titled, "I and I." The results are brightly colored, softly gestural combinations of abstract and figural elements that suggest a sketch made of dream just after waking up.

Here, you use your mouse to enter the show and stroll around while turning in all directions. Buttons next to each artwork provide pop-up labels and let you zoom in for a closer look. There are also shortcuts called floor plan and dollhouse view, and even a tool that lets you measure each piece.

"Art is about connection," Turn Gallery owner Annika Peterson told Time Out New York, “a dialogue between the artist and viewer that’s absolutely crucial. So by using the 3D tour, we can try to keep that conversation active, even if only for a moment, until we all can be together again."

See for yourself here.

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