Detecting Hidden QR Codes In Art With Astonishing Case Studies

Gunel Ismayilova

Mar 14, 2024

5 min read

Hidden QR Codes In Art

QR codes are everywhere: in ads, shopping malls, and business cards. But did you know that artists also use them in their art? This blog aims to show you the importance of QR codes in art and how artists use hidden QR codes in their artwork.

Art lovers, tech geeks, or anyone who appreciates creativity and innovation! This blog is for you!

Here we go!

How do you use QR codes in art?

Artists constantly seek new ways to express their feelings deeply in contemporary art. One of the latest tools in art is QR codes. That's right! QR codes have an impact on art culture too. The magic of black-and-white squares inspires artists to express their emotions in new ways. You can use QR codes in art as listed below.

  • QR codes in museums: QR codes are great for getting information about art pieces when you walk through a museum or art gallery. These little digital squares have become an essential tool for museums and art galleries, providing a new way to engage with the audience and enhance their experience. QR codes next to paintings might lead to a video of the artist explaining their inspiration or a website with information on the techniques used. So the viewer can get a more immersive and educational experience with this layer of info.
  • QR codes in virtual exhibitions: It is also possible to create virtual exhibitions with interactive QR codes. By scanning a QR code, the audience can access a virtual gallery to view and explore the artwork from their home. This type of exhibition provides a new way for museums and galleries to reach a wider audience and bring art to those who might not have the opportunity to visit in person. Isn't it cool? Wait, there's more!
  • QR codes in artwork: Even as part of the art pieces, they are used! QR codes are sleek and abstract, so they're perfect for artists who want to combine traditional art and technology. Artistic QR codes offer a unique and interactive way for artists to express themselves and bring their creations to life. It also symbolizes the digital world and its impact on our lives.

What are the secret messages of the hidden QR codes in artwork?

Undoubtedly, artists push boundaries and find new ways to express themselves and connect with their audience. They can create immersive experiences for viewers by embedding QR codes within their art. QR code artwork can add a playful and whimsical element to the painting. They might lead to a fun surprise, such as a video or audio clip that complements the artwork. Viewers will enjoy this more, making the painting more entertaining and memorable. Here is why artists embed QR codes in their paintings.

  • Sharing their stories and biographies: Artists use interactive QR codes to tell stories and share their biographies. By including a QR code in their artwork, artists can give viewers a link to their website or social media page to find out more about the artist and purchase their artwork.
  • Sending a message or statement: As well as making a statement or expressing their opinions, artists use QR codes to bring attention to a particular issue or cause. In a political or social commentary piece, a QR code might lead to a video or article that expands on the artist's point of view. Doing this gives the artwork a more profound meaning and encourages viewers to think about different perspectives.
  • Showing behind-the-scenes: The artist also uses QR codes for art to show behind the scenes and reveal the process behind their creative work. They can use QR codes to link to time-lapse videos, tutorials, or a virtual studio tour. It gives viewers an intimate look at the artist's work and engages and teaches them.

The Remarkable Use Cases of QR Codes in Various Art Forms

QR codes are finding their way into everything from paintings and drawings to photography and digital art, giving artists a new way to express themselves. Here's a closer look at how QR codes are used in different art forms.

1. Paintings and Drawings

The artists incorporate QR codes into their paintings harmoniously, making them look like part of the painting while still catching the viewer's attention. Check out a couple of real-life examples:

Ambient Media PortalAmbient Media Portal

Tony Taj's artwork with a Hidden QR code

Seattle-based artist and designer Tony Taj creates paintings with an interactive QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to reveal more profound stories. He calls this concept an "Ambient Media Portal" (AMP), but he is also open to other technologies. Beautiful city skyline landscapes are featured in his work, and the QR code in art expands the story beyond the physical artwork to the digital realm.

And the best part is the QR code is hidden in the artwork, so it doesn't draw attention from the aesthetic. It's like a secret message waiting to be uncovered!

"Portal to the Unknown"Yiying Lu's Artwork with a hidden QR code

Yiying Lu's Artwork with a hidden QR code

Now let's look at Yiying Lu's artwork! We bet you've wondered, "Can a QR code be painted?"

If you are talented as Lu, the answer is yes, you can paint a QR code! Before that, don't forget to generate a QR code for your artwork.

The gifted illustrator Yiying Lu painted watercolor QR codes into her beautiful hand-drawn paintings in a fun and creative way.

Lu's figured out how to blend QR codes into her artwork flawlessly that you almost don't even notice. However, don't worry; they are still accessible when needed.

We will surely see more art with QR codes embedded in the future!

2. Photography and Digital Art

Using QR codes in photography and digital art brings new levels of interactivity to these art forms.

You can use these artistic QR codes to understand the image better. For example, QR codes in landscape photos lead to video tours or podcasts providing more information about the area or culture. As a result, viewers can learn more about the picture and its story, enriching and educating the experience.

QR codes can be used to bring artwork to life in digital art. Scanning a QR code in a digital painting allows the viewer to enter and explore the artwork from all angles with a virtual reality experience. As a result, digital artists can create an immersive, interactive experience for their audience and show off their work differently.

3. Street Art

Street art is one of the most common applications of artistic QR codes. QR codes are incorporated into street art to create interactive wall art in public spaces. If you place a funny QR code in a public place, you could link to a video or audio clip that provides context or commentary about the surroundings. Interactive artwork adds excitement and engagement to an environment by turning it into a participatory experience. Take a look at these examples of street art that incorporates QR codes:

"Donate Bitcoin"Pascal "PBoy" Boyart's street art with QR code

Pascal "PBoy" Boyart's street art with QR code 

Did you know you can earn money using QR codes in interactive wall art? You read it correctly! But how to use QR codes for street art? Check out Pascal's story!

The French street artist Pascal "PBOY" Boyart has come up with a unique way to get paid. Using a Bitcoin QR code on his murals, he lets anyone with a phone and a Bitcoin wallet pay him directly online. A short time later, Boyart received 0.11 Bitcoin (approximately $1,000) from 23 supporters. That's crazy, right?

Boyart wants to get in touch with the public directly and accept payments without going through a middleman. He likes cryptocurrency because of its peer-to-peer, horizontal system. The artist plans to use the donations to buy more art materials and hold some for future value growth.

Uncovering Message: Stop Violation!

Ola Volo's wall art

Ola Volo's wall art

In the heart of downtown Vancouver, the YWCA Metro Vancouver has created beautiful and interactive wall art that carries a powerful message. Canadian mural artist and illustrator Ola Volo created the mural as a reminder of how important it is to address intimate partner violence in Canada.

The hidden QR codes in the art are one of the extraordinary things about this mural. A photo of the mural allows you to access five different statistics about intimate partner violence. As a result, you'll become more educated about this critical issue and its impact on women and children. What's more?

You can also donate and support the YWCA by scanning the QR codes. Your donation can help build new housing for women who have experienced violence, giving them a safe and supportive place to start over.

How to Make Artistic QR Codes

It's no secret that QR codes are becoming popular for artists to express themselves and add a little extra to their work. However, a standard QR code can look plain and unappealing. So, how can you make your QR code more artistic and appealing to the eye? We'll give you some tips and tricks to create artistic QR codes:

  1. Change the colors of the QR code to suit your tastes. A standard QR code is black and white, but you can customize the colors to fit your aesthetic. Choose colors that complement your artwork or use them to create a specific mood or feeling. Use a transparent background to your QR code, which allows them to blend into the artwork and become a subtle part of the composition.
  2. Play with the shapes of the QR code to make it look more artistic. QR codes are made up of squares and dots, but you can manipulate these shapes on QR Code Creator to create new designs. You can rearrange the squares and dots to form specific patterns and shapes.
  3. Upload a logo or image to your QR code. You can customize your QR code with an image or logo in the center. It will make your code more recognizable and make it stand out.
  4. Add a call to action to your interactive QR code. You can add text to your QR code to give the audience context and help them understand why it's there. Including a call to action in your QR code artwork can also add a little flair.

Creating an artistic QR code involves experimenting with different designs and playing with the essential elements. Take your time, and let your imagination run wild!

The Challenges of QR Code Art: The Artist's Perspective

Sharing expressions and messages using QR codes is more challenging than we thought! Artists face a few challenges when it comes to using QR codes. Let's take a look at the following challenges.

  1. Keeping aesthetics and functionality in balance: It's hard to balance aesthetics and functionality when using QR codes in the artwork. QR codes can look ugly and take away from the overall beauty of the painting. Artists need to blend QR codes seamlessly into their artwork to avoid looking distracting.
  2. Facing technical challenges: Artists also face technical challenges when incorporating QR codes into their artworks. They need to learn how to generate QR codes, which types are best for their artwork, and how to embed them into their artwork.
  3. Providing easy-to-read and accessible content: Lastly, artists must ensure their QR codes are easy to use and accessible. They should ensure the QR code leads to a mobile-friendly website or video. Additionally, they've got to ensure that the QR code's content is engaging and relevant for the audience.


Did you enjoy reading this? Want to express your feelings in art forms, but you're not an artist?

Don't worry! Create an artistic QR code that describes how you feel, and leave it in a place where people might find it interesting!

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