November 29, 2017

Fine Art In The Digital Age

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28.11.2017, by Johanna Klemm

Fine Art Goes Anywhere

Art vs Technology might sound a bit boring but is it really? Sure, fine art itself might not be your everyday topic, but our technology, social media formats, television, and any other innovative products that are the dominant way of showcasing any creative process really do eventually go back to one thing: man’s craft and ideas. As Rachel Sommers already pointed out in her article ‘Technology’s Impact On The Arts’,  The Art World is moving towards a massive change as 3D print has only just been introduced to the stage. Game Developer and Programmer Mick Derks had also taken on this challenge and came to create a 3D-printed vase shroud at The Creative Lab. Additionally, he has shared his experience on his blog.

Painting ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ made by Pablo Picasso in 1907

Looking Back to the Initial Handcraft of the Fine Art

The question is: do we even have to be specific in art, technology, media or any other media forms? What if the key to great technology is great handcraft and vice versa? Moving forward with time might just be the number one ingredient to this progress in media, technology and the arts. Pablo Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’, created in 1907, had come as some sort of a shock for many at the time and pushed the art world into a completely new era: Cubism and Modern Art. Today, we have become used to seeing forms and figures being pulled apart from each other on a canvas and we are no longer overreacting by the look of a 3D-printed vase shroud by Mick Derks. 

Implementing Technology into Paintings

Pablo Picasso has not been the last man ahead of his time, as German visual artist Gerhard Richter is doing just the same today. Richter seems to share one grand ability with Picasso, I would argue: the ability to consistently move forward with time and applying knowledge and handcraft to what is new out there. Not to show off with his handcraft. Painting off photographs, Richter specifically acknowledged another medium and chose to apply it to his own art. Why would a painter do this? Because photographs, as he stated in an interview with Christine Vielhaber in 1986 “…make a terrific variety of statements and have great substance. That is what I wanted to convey to paintings and apply to it”. Fact is, both the original photograph and the painting tell a story and Richter seems to be very aware of this. His painting ‘Betty’ , a portrait of his daughter, is the remarkable indication of how the sudden moment of a picture taken would collide perfectly with the idea of a portrait. With Betty’s back towards the viewer, one does not exactly feel being watched, but rather being present in a short moment of a photograph being taken. Despite it being a still and a portrait. Painting off photographs and images, blurring it – it is a thought quite simple. But by pushing this thought further and executing the idea into a string of work within his own medium of fine art, Gerhard Richter created an undeniable identity for himself as a visual artist. Technology did of course push the artist further and in 2012, Richter created a series of digital prints, simply known as ‘Strips’. As Peter Schjeldahl  states nicely in his article ‘All Stripes’ – “They  invite us to contemplate handmade painting’s faltering state in an age of arrogant visual technologies.”

Why the Arts Should Remain a Solid Ground for Media and Technology

Fine art or not: With countless individuals making a living by showcasing creative content on social media these days, art can be experienced in multiple ways and the opportunities seem endless. Nevertheless, it shall never hurt to look back to the original handcraft and knowledge of those who figured that art and its history remains a fundamental base for every creative process and innovation on the market today. The question is: do we stick to what we already know only because it is the safest bet – or do we successfully move forward from there?

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