Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
André Derain and Henri Matisse spent the summer of 1905 in Collioure, a fishing town in the southwest of France. There they painted the shores, its seascapes and boats, and the curvy mountains nearby. Their bold pigments and brushwork, with dots and lines of color allowing the white of the canvas to come through, defined the brief Fauvism movement. Now you can digitally wander one of those influential works, with FAUVISTa, a virtual exploration of Derain’s 1905 “Bateaux à Collioure.”
The art interactive, recently shared by Warpdoor, is available as a pay-what-you-wish download for Mac and PC on Itch.io. It was created by designer Carlos Monteiro of Gigoia Studios, which has released a series of games where players enter paintings, such as SURREALISTa, a tribute to Giorgio de Chirico, and IMPRESSIONISTa, featuring Claude Monet’s waterlilies. The developers state they are “very aware that digital imagery can’t compare” with the real art, and these experiences are intended to “stimulate” interest in the work.
You can spend as long as you like strolling FAUVISTa, but it’s a compact world. As far as gaming goes, there’s not a lot to do, although some of the abstractly shaped sailors and townspeople have little facts about Derain that activate in speech bubbles (these are not part of the original work). The sounds of seagulls and the rolling waves soundtrack the intensely colored setting, with tiny white birds animated in the textured sky. Walking over the yellow, green, and blue sand, or looking at the purple water, you meditate on the frenetic colors that captured the warmth of Mediterranean sun. And if you make it to a small jetty, there’s another canvas waiting on an easel: Derain’s “Les Voiles Rouges.”
FAUVISTa is available for Mac and PC on Itch.io.