Digital Art pptfy: The Scream, by Ziv Mizrahi

Published on August 19th, 2013 | by Ido Kenan


The Scream and other PowerPoint Painting Masterpieces

In the right hands, Microsoft’s presentation software PowerPoint is a painting program. These hands belong to Ziv Mizrahi, a 27 year-old copywriter, graphic designer and creator from Tel Aviv, who created “pptify“, a series of painting masterpieces recreated using PowerPoint. “It amuses me to connect the basic and the masterpiece”, says Mizrahi.

Ziv Mizrahi. Photo courtesy Mizrahi

The process consists of stripping the classic creations to their basic components, then creating those components in PowerPoint. “I look at the original painting and break it apart in my mind, and then create it from scratch using the software’s basic shpers (insert > shapes),” explains Mizrahi. “If there’s a need for a more complex shape, I’ll create it by merging other shapes. Other tools – shadow, gradient fill and eyedropper – allow me to sample the original painting colors. I don’t claim to create a perfect copy, but something that retains the PowerPoint look while being close enough, so that the viewer will instantly recognize the reference. This is basically deconstructing van-Gogh – however complex the original painting, it’s nothing more than a collection of basic shapes and colors”.

pptify is defiant against classic art as well as PowerPoint’s technical limitaions. “On a scale ranging from Windows Paint to Photoshop,PowerPoint’s located somewhere near Paint. Although it is equipped with sufficient graphic tools, they are not utilized enough and it isn’t perceived as legitimate graphic software”,says Mizrahi.”PowerPoint is a software for creating mostly boring presentations.Using it to create a pie chart would be considered adventurous by most of us – let alone a Rembrandt or Vermeer? I’m fascinated with using it for a purpose totally different than that for which it was intended, and to push its graphic features, which are functional as they are limited, to the limit”.

So far, Mizrahi pptified Edvard Munch’sThe Scream, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Grant Wood’s American Gothik, Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp and René Magritte’s he The Son of Man. He’s currently working on Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, which he saya is “the most obvious, but also most banal, choice for such a hommage”.

pptfy, by Ziv Mizrahi

pptfy: The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, by Ziv Mizrahi

pptfy: American Gothic, by Ziv Mizrahi

pptfy: shapes for The Son of Man, by Ziv Mizrahi

pptfy: The Son of Man, by Ziv Mizrahi

pptfy: Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Ziv Mizrahi

pptfy: creation of The Scream, by Ziv Mizrahi

pptfy: The Scream, by Ziv Mizrahi

Originally published in Haaretz (Hebrew, English)

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About the Author

Ido Kenan is founder of Room 404, a longtime Digital Culture journalist and a raiser of two cats

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