Digital Art As Fine Art

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Digital Art As Fine Art

From Brian K. Yoder

Published before 2005


Sulla1234 wrote:
Hi, all. I am wondering what everyone thinks of digital art as fine art. I have tried many media and I can find no reason why digital art is not the same as any other fine art. All the basics of the lane as far as line, color composition, etc. Any way, not much time tonight, will be interested to see what everyone thinks.

My take on it is that using computers as a tool for making art is a fine thing to do, though there are a few pitfalls in using them.

1. Computers allow people with little skill, experience, judgment, or perspective to create fairly sophisticated-looking and often interesting images. Just because something has a fair bit of complexity, interest, or polish that's no reason to think that it is necessarily art or good art.

2. Computerized picture-making tools are still fairly primitive and limiting in a lot of ways (though they are hugely improved from 10 or 20 years ago) and using them does impose some limitations (as all media do). The techniques for making pictures with pencils, brushes, and chisels have been refined for thousands of years, so it should come as little surprise that there is often a lot more skill and subtlety involved in using these more established tools.

3. A computer is a device for manipulating data. A visual art work is something that looks a particular way. A "digital artist" ought to keep in mind what their actual medium is. A printed image and an image on a screen look quite a bit different and it would be more clear to say that one is an artist who uses computers to make prints or on-screen images. Yeah, I know it doesn't just roll off the tongue, but I think that these are rather different.

None of this means that you can't make art on a computer or that it can't be good art of course, but it also doesn't mean that just because you can photoshop a photo that you have made art or that it's good art either.

--Brian