Friday, July 30, 2010

Strange New Ideas!

I was wandering in the mind this I often do. The topic I was wandering around was the idea of digital images and the lack of understanding of this new art form here in Oz.

The reason for me wandering off into a maze of thoughts and ideas around this topic was brought about by a conversation with the curator at the gallery in Canberra where I currently have a show. One of the offerings on hand is of course, a digital print otherwise known as a Giclee Reproduction. Now this seems perfectly obvious to me as an extension of my artworks but to the average punter, it is a frightening thing to think that someone can make a copy of a work and then print it in "how many" copies?

The curator was asked whether it was a lithograph? Does the print method make a difference? Lithographs can be reproduced ad-infinitum also and the artist rarely has a hand in making them either.....that is if they are as complicated as the painting I am rendering in a different format. The buyer still needs to trust that the edition is limited as the artist says.

But why are we so afraid of new printing methods here? I felt that perhaps there is a feeling that artists should be keepers of past technologies, masters of secrets long forgotten, the shamans who will bring forth those ideas when a society collapses......hmmm? Is that why here in Oz we are so afraid of the 'new media' or is it a completely philistine lack of knowledge.

When I went to Florence, the biennale had 2500 works there to ponder and amongst them were a great number of artists working in the new media. So prevalent was digital technology that there were works, not only on canvas, but reproduced on paper, aluminum sheets, glass, plastics and polyurethane surfaces and on and on. These were fascinating to look at! They challenged you to look further into the new.......

So for the life of me I can't understand why here we still think that working digitally is something of a fraud; not 'real art' is it?

I hope for the sake of all the artists out here in Oz pushing the boundaries and seeking out the new (which is what I thought artists did?) that the art voyeurs start to look in wonder at some of the wonderful pieces that new technologies are allowing us artists to pursue! They are artworks just the same as the old and true!

Anyway I feel better now, do you?

1 comment:

Michelle Wrighton said...

Joy your viewpoint is refreshing! As a digital artist with a background in traditional art in many different mediums, I find that it is actually other artists that are less accepting (sometimes downright rude and obnoxious;) towards digitally created art, although younger artists are very much accepting it. The public in general do seem more accepting, although many presume that 'the computer did it' - while that may be true in some instances, many digital art works are created from scratch, just like painting on a canvas. I am sure in time digital art will become widely accepted, just as acrylic paints where dismissed when they first became available.