Vladimir Grigoryevich Tretchikoff was a Russian artist based in South Africa whose painting ‘Chinese Girl’, popularly known as ‘The Green Lady’, is one of the best-selling art prints of the twentieth century.
Tretchikoff was the first artist to make and sell lithographic reproductions of his work, making it affordable and accessible to the ordinary person, however his mercenary approach to the sale of his work (often hundreds of reproduction prints set up on trestle tables in major department stores with Tretchikoff himself sometimes manning the cash register and signing these prints on request) subverted the artistic status quo, who subsequently branded him a pariah. Their argument was that he was devaluing and commercialising art, to which he responded, ‘Why should my art be available only to the rich and famous? I want everyone to enjoy my art.’
To mark the overshadowing of the record sale of another of Tretchikoff’s famous works, Miss Wong, for R3.5 Million Rand by the rediscovery of the identity of the original model for his work, ‘The Lady of the Orient’, Ampersand decided to create an illustration with an embedded augmented reality (AR) overlay.
Ampersand created this illustration of Tretchikoff’s ‘The Green Lady’ (inspired by Stanley Chow) which was augmented to display an accompanying animation. The method of interaction which necessitates the use of a smartphone to access embedded content aimed to explore the relationship between topical news and its fleeting relationship with the mass media.
Ampersand oversaw all illustration and animation work, as well as the augmentation of the image.