Friday, February 23, 2018

Smartphones and Art

I've been reading a lot lately about smartphone addiction, effects on the eyes, interest in art and so on and wondering - wither painting in modern world?  The above is a "long pose" in pastel where the challenge is to draw from a model, capture the pose, capture a likeness, fit it on the page, consider lighting- and then wind up with something that may never be seen again ! I love drawing and painting people but mostly I work on paper now for our long poses. The paper stack takes up less room than a pile of canvases. Here in Vancouver there is not much market for "people paintings" so some of these works may be shown at "DoorsOpen" and that is about it... and yet we keep doing it for the challenge!  Russell Smith,  in the Globe and Mail, was writing about the availability of artwork from museums that means that a flat screen on the wall could provide a changing exhibition of high definition on our wall. He concluded that these will be useful reference but they won't have the draw of objects.  "Screens, no matter how advanced, will always screen. What you see on them is mediated by pixels. You will always know they are not real."  Well, that gives some assurance that there will continue to be interest  in the unique and original, but it isn't just what to do with the works- it is also whether there will even be any interest in painting in the future. Since using ones' eyes has to be "learned", what will happen when distant vision and peripheral vision is not well developed?  Will it just seem too hard to paint a landscape? Will just snapping a "selfie" satisfy rather than struggling to paint a self-portrait? Will museums continue to attract those actually interested in the art and not just those snapping selfies to say "I was here"? Some public  galleries are already moving away from displaying paintings to having more in the way of installations and "experiences". Where will this leave art and artists?
     On the other hand, some of the approaches to art in today's world of videos can be very interesting as well as fun- I recommend looking at a video on the eating habits of Van Gogh - but I also think it helps your enjoyment if you at least know something about him and his works. Here is the link:
..and if you want to find me, I'll still be painting.....

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