Every time we use a touchscreen on an iPad, we leave tons of oily fingerprints on it. Andre Woolery and Victor Abijaoudi have decided to turn those fingerprints into something else: art.
The artists released a series of 13 bright acrylic paintings that showcase those fingerprints at the South by Southwest conference in March. The paintings use prints from a range of apps, including those used for social networking sites like Facebook, games like Fruit Ninja, and everyday apps like email. The hand-signed acrylics are selling for $1,999.99 on Woolery's website, with photographic reproductions of the paintings going for $39.99.
The series is called "Invisible Hieroglyphics" because hieroglyphics, like a touchscreen, are a "window into another world," the artists say on their site.
"If you strip away the hardware and software, what’s left is a finger painting that illustrates the story of how we communicate," the site says.
Woolery said in an interview with Mashable that he aimed "to reveal that touch is an integral part of digital interaction."
"We wanted to highlight an overlooked form of expression and shed light on the story that is told each time we use an app on our various devices," Woolery told the site.
Reaction to the paintings has been mixed thus far. "You mean I'm always wiping away hundreds of dollars worth of art every time I clean my screen?" one Gizmodo user commented. Another wrote, "I cannot behold how this counts as art of any form."
Woolery previously gained some small fame last year by making thumbtack portraits of African-American icons like President Barack Obama and rapper Jay-Z.