GLAMi nomination: ReBlink

nominated by: alex mayhew, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada
institution: Art Gallery of Ontario
category: Exhibition Media or Experience

You won’t believe your eyes at the Art Gallery of Ontario…



The Show

ReBlink is an exhibition that blends traditional art with the latest in computer vision technologies to ‘re-mix’ classic paintings in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s permanent collection. 
ReBlink offers a modern-day recasting of the past, seamlessly blended onto the original work using augmented reality. The work comments on the changing nature of the human condition.

This initial seduction paves the way for deeper engagement, in which more serious issues are explored, the intellect stimulated and a range of emotions triggered. It has always been the aim for ReBlink to transcend the gimmick of technology by acting in the traditional of art intervention.

Visitor Response


The show has been resonating with art connoisseurs and the public alike, and has mass market appeal from kids to the golden generations:

“Past and present elements mingle on the screen, pushing the visitor to reflect on what has changed and what has remained the same… a stimulating and ironic short circuit that communicates the art of the past with the new generations.”

 Valentina Tanni, art critic for Art Tribune

In October 2017, due to popular demand, the Art Gallery of Ontario, announced a four-month extension to the ReBlink exhibition:

[ReBlink] far exceeded my expectations… not only in terms of the project itself but the intuitive response most people have about the potential for more.

Stephan Jost, Director of the AGO


ReBlink has proven itself to be a powerful tool for education and outreach:

“I took all 200 of our students to the AGO specifically for your exhibit. They loved it. I’ve never seen a group of students more interested in art and more interested in discussing the original art piece as well as the social commentary on your modern twist. It was wonderful. I hope the gallery commissions you to do more as I think it will bring in more and more of our younger generation. “

Stav Bosotas, teacher at J B Tyrrell Senior Public School

“Very Impressive Work”

Apple Head Tim Cook during a special private tour of the ReBlink show

“ReBlink is a revelation (in every sense). An actual window on other realities, dreams, the imagination, and delight. If you have ever wondered if there are new ways of creating beauty, then you need to see this work.”

Alan Snow, Creator of The Boxtrolls


Media Response

The Painting’s Revenge


The ReBlink exhibition has been extensively covered by over 180 outlets around the globe including Canada, the US, Japan, Russia, Germany, Holland, Italy, France, China and the UK. It has featured widely online, in print and on TV. This was certainly unexpected for for a location-specific art museum experience.
Here is just a small selection:
This artist wants you to see art in a new way by using augmented reality 
Interview on the flagship arts and culture show CBC’s Q 
New ReBlink exhibit at Toronto’s AGO takes augmented reality beyond video games
Financial Post


These Classical Artworks Come To Life To Make Fun Of Your Museum Selfie
Fast Company – Co.Design


Alex Mayhew is injecting modern whimsy into classic paintings
BBC News Facebook Live


ReBlink on the Discovery Channel
Watch ReBlink tour on the Daily Planet (segment starts at at 30:45)


Augmented reality transports classic art into the 21st century 
New Atlas


Trend Hunter Talks to ‘Impossible Things’ About Bringing Art to Life  
ReBlink was a highlight of the Trend Hunter ‘Trend Safaris’ at their flagship conference in Toronto last September

Contact us for the complete list of press

ReBlink Travels

ReBlink has been invited around the world. Although we have not been able to tour the show (as it is still on) we have been able to simulate ReBlink through poster style reproductions. Although not quite the same experience, the work continues to draw crowds as a thought-provoking digital spectacle.
ReBlink has been shown twice in Mexico City and once in L.A. and has gone down a storm.
We are also working on a version of ReBlink that can be viewed in schools, at home, or at any location. Here is a small preview:

Why the Success?

We believe that ReBlink has been so successful because it taps the powers of augmented reality to transform a simple interaction — viewing a painting in a museum — into a visceral, explorative and magical experience. ReBlink doesn’t just extend viewing through exposition or instruction, it ‘intervenes’ – offering a new perspective. Like the remix of a classic song, it gives the audience a new context from which to view the paintings, one which has greater relevance to contemporary culture. The juxtaposition of past and present builds connections that create an impactful commentary. This approach is immediate, direct and play on a deep human desire for exploration and discovery.



Can not get to the Art Gallery of Ontario? Take a sneak peak!

Download the ReBlink app
Click on any of the thumbnail images below
Open the ReBlink app, make sure your sound is turned up and point your device at the image
Move around and explore

The Team

Alex Mayhew would like to thank the amazing team for all their hard work, creativity and support:
Developer and technical artist
Hector Centeno
Lead Production Artist
Saffron Bolduc-Chiong
Production Artist
Emma Burkeitt
3D Art
David Mc.Kenna
Yifat Shaik
Max Mezzowave
Christian Chuquihuara
Creative & Business Consultant
Ian Kelso
Special thanks to: Amit Breuer, Nigel Newton, Conor Holler, Senait Gebremeskel, Hamza Asif, Helen Galligan, Marcelo Luft, Hart Sturgeon-Reed, Egill Vidarsson, Sally Luc, Fergui Pascual, Aaron Bosnjak, Maggie Greyson, Lyra Westecott, Emma Westecott, Mary Tsilka, Andronika Kelso, Marion Kelso, Tarik El-Khateeb, Mudit Ganguly, Corey Dean, Janine White, Orbital Arts, Ryan Miller and Reptoid Games, OCE, OCADU, Greg Singer, Heather Robson, Robert Gould, Hugh Spencer, Alan Gordon, Monica Contreras, Andy Webb and Lou Reed.