ARTS & CULTURE

Watch Artist Recreate Iconic Van Gogh Paintings On Water

Garip Ay then just swirls his mesmerizing artwork away.

20/06/2016 1:09 AM AEST | Updated June 20, 2016 01:31

Garip Ay's masterpieces sometimes last only seconds. But thanks to the internet, they can now be remembered forever.

The Turkish artist painstakingly recreates two of Vincent van Gogh's iconic pieces on water, in a video has now been seen more than 25 million times:

Ay uses the ancient Ebru technique, also known as paper marbling, to first reimagine the Dutch postimpressionist's masterpiece "The Starry Night."

After mixing carrageenan, a thickening substance, into a bowl of water, he drops different colored oils onto the liquid and manipulates it with a thin metal rod to create the image.

Within minutes, he's finished his first piece -- but then just swirls it all away:

Starting again from scratch, Ay then uses exactly the same method to recreate one of the painter's best-known self-portraits.

Slowly but surely, the well-known image develops before the viewers' eyes:

But after completing this piece, Ay decides that he does want a permanent, physical record of this effort.

So this time, remaining faithful to the traditional art of Ebru, he places paper over the water and waits for the glorious image to be transferred.

Ay told ABC News that the entire process took around 20 minutes, and that it was one of his most complicated projects yet because "the water, in addition to being thickened by carrageenan powder, was colored black for this project."

He now plans to use the same approach to reimagine other famous painters' works. "I want to do more to pay homage to the great artists who have inspired me and whose vision I feel I understand, just as I have done with my recent tribute to van Gogh," he told CNN.

Ay uses the Ebru technique to magnificent effect. For instance, in this equally mesmerizing video, he creates and then rubs out a host of animals, characters and scenes.

Other artists around the world have recreated "The Starry Night," which van Gogh painted in 1889 and which now hangs in New York's Museum of Modern Art, in equally fascinating ways.

Microbiologist Melanie Sullivan used bacteria in a petri dish, YouTuber FlippyCat utilized falling dominoes and hardware store owner David Goldberg reimagined the famous piece with 1,250 doorknobs.

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