Monday, April 09, 2012

Real Art?

This is my latest digital artwork.
My question in the title refers to this picture and others I have digitally manipulated. I think I first need to explain briefly how the picture was made and then offer arguments for and against it as art.
I first took a picture on and iPad then imported it into and app called ArtRage. ArtRage allows me to use the colours in the photo as wet paint, I then use a virtual palette knife to spread the paint around. As long as I don't move the paint too far I can keep the integrity of the image. I then made a few adjustments to sharpness, contrast and finally applied a couple of filters in an app called Snapseed.

The case for:
It is art because it is an original work. In order to get the look I had to spend time achieving the final image. Although the tools for creating the work are available to everyone I used them in a way personal to me, other people may use the same tools in a totally different way. Although not a painting it is intended to look like one because I like that look even though I am not proficient in that medium. I am an artist and I use different tools for different pieces of work, some real world, some virtual.

The case against:
Without the digital tools this artwork could not be produced to this standard by the artist. The artwork could easily be produced by someone else with the same tools and a copy of the original photograph. Drawing with a stylus on a glass screen is not real art nor is any kind of tracing of a photo. Photography and art are two different disciplines and should not be mixed.

I'll leave you to decide whether the picture has merit or not. As for me, I think it's art and art from a new medium, that of the new generations of portable devices. I could quite happily view digital art alongside traditional forms such as pencil and paper or paintings with oils or watercolours.

There most definitely is a place for both.