Google’s new Arts and Culture app is making a splash on social media, officially going viral thanks to a new feature on the platform sponsored in part by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH).
You’ve likely seen your friends posting photos of themselves matched with famous paintings that they resemble, and you might’ve even tried it yourself — if you know the trick for accessing the app in Texas.
Technically, the app’s new feature is banned in Texas because the state limits the use of biometric information. Texas law prevents anyone from using biometric data for commercial purposes, even Google.
Unfortunately for Texans, the app uses biometrics to, as seen with our editor Chana Elgin below, hilariously match the user’s facial features to works of art.
Luckily, there is a work around you can use to find your perfect art match.
To access the feature, you’ll need to connect through a virtual private network (VPN), which allows you to access an area where the feature is operational.
Simply download a VPN, such as ExpressVPN, along with the Google Arts and Culture app.
For best results, you should also turn off your location.
Of course, you could always just save the app for vacation fun on your next trip out of state.
For those less interested in laughing or finding their priceless works of art doppelgänger, the MFAH reportedly contributed 183 works to be featured in Google’s Art and Culture project, allowing users to experience the pieces in a whole new way.
Thanks to the partnership, art lovers can see their favorite works of art from home:
“The Google Art Project is a way to help people grasp just how much work is available in museums around the world,” MFAH communications director Mary Haus said in an interview with Culture Map. “We were honored to be a part of a project that provides such unprecedented access to art.”
Since it’s all digital, you can zoom in as close to the paintings as you’d like, and, thanks to Google Street View technology, you can also stroll down the aisles of the museum while sitting in your living room.
Pour yourselves a glass of wine, Houston, because it just got fancy.