Turn your iPhone into an art gallery, for cheap

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obeyUp until now, if you wanted to have artwork as a background on your iPhone, it was necessary to buy clipart, which was generally pretty amateur and expensive. It was convenient to get them via the iTunes store, of course, but not very economical. Mobile art site “Start Mobile” is changing all this by licensing art from underground (but still recognizable) artists. They’ve also added a significant amount of functionality to the way the artwork is displayed, almost turning your iPhone into a portable gallery. I took a look at some of the art available, and I have to say it’s pretty cool stuff.

From the press release:

THE DAYS OF PAYING $1.99 FOR A SINGLE CLIP-ART MOBILE WALLPAPER ARE OVER

“Over the last five years, mobile consumers globally have purchased billions of wallpapers to personalize their mobile devices,” according to John Doffing, the founder of START MOBILE. “With the launch of our first artist wallpaper galleries for the iPhone, mobile consumers are able to get decidedly MORE compelling content – for HALF the typical retail price of a single static wallpaper.”

START MOBILE iPhone Galleries each feature a bundled collection of curated artist wallpapers, delivered as 99¢ iPhone applications. “Rather than clip-art wallpapers of sports cars and bikini models, START MOBILE is bringing curated collections of NEW ART at a NEW PRICE to iPhone users around the world,” observed Christina Samala, START MOBILE’s Creative Director. “We are using technology to bring art directly to the people, inspired by what Maxfield Parrish did a century ago using what was then the cutting-edge technology of mass reproduction.”

START MOBILE art galleries for the iPhone feature exclusive images created by the world’s premier emerging and underground artists, delivered as mobile wallpapers directly to the picture library of the iPhone. All the mobile art wallpapers are optimized for display on the iPhone, and all the images included in the gallery can be ‘flipped’ to reveal additional information about the respective artists. “If you are in a real-world art gallery or museum and you see something special, you can learn more about it by reading the placard,” observed Doffing. “We attempted to emulate this experience within the context of our mobile art galleries for the iPhone.”

START MOBILE galleries for the iPhone also include a unique PICTURE FRAME feature. Simply tap the PLAY icon on the toolbar, and the iPhone is transformed into a digital picture frame which cycles through every image in the gallery at five-second intervals. The START MOBILE PICTURE FRAME over-rides the auto-lock setting so you can enjoy an arty slideshow while the iPhone is docked and charging.

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