Digital Art Permanence?

Digital Art Permanence

There are two aspects to this. One is whether digital art is art and the other is how it will hold up physically over time.

Is Digital Art Art?

We have looked at a lot of digital art. As with any art form, there is a lot of bad digital art, although even that is in the eye of the beholder. But a lot of digital artists take preexisting images or photographs and then manipulate them. That works great for advertising but is it art. It seems more in line with a collage or perhaps a Dadaist piece. It can sometimes rise to a very good work of art but generally not.

Then there are the original creations and some of these can be quite exquisite. Also, because it is a different medium,it is possible to do things that can’t be done on canvas or in sculpture.

Will it Physically Hold Up?

Art in general has tended to degrade over time. Paintings fade with exposure to light, or the paint cracks. Sometimes the top varnish layer yellows and sometimes restorations are done poorly. Even sculpture has problems. Sometimes a piece gets chipped or broken off when moving or when a tourist wants a souvenir. And then there are the problems with war. Paintings and sculpture don’t do well with gunfire and bombs. And then there are the atrocities like the horrific Muslim sects in Syria, ISIS, and the Taliban in Afghanistan who have blown up centuries or millennia old sculptures and buildings. A crime against humanity. These items can never be replaced. It would be like someone white washing the Neanderthal cave paintings because they were blasphemous for some reason known only to these pig headed idiots.

But, what about digital art? It is going to have even more problems. It is much more ephemeral. You could say that once it is in the cloud it is there forever, like the revenge porn pictures that are so much of a problem. Also, Brewster Kahle’s Wayback Machine which takes snapshots of websites at different point in time will maintain a record of some pictures even if the website no longer exists. But often times, the pictures on websites are of lower quality so that they can load quickly and the high quality pictures / images reside only on a person’s or company’s computer. As with any type of file, an image, a text document, a spreadsheet, because of the rapid change in technology, many of these have been lost forever. They exist only on recording formats that can be read only by machines that no longer exist. Also, it has turned out that some of the recording formats that people thought would record things for decades or centuries are less stable than previously thought. In some ways it is like when the change came from making paper with cotton to making it with wood. The older cotton based paper is quite stable but libraries are racing to preserve the older wood based paper books because the acid in them is causing the paper to deteriorate. Given the huge growth of content in digital form, the problem of preservation of digital records is likely to dwarf the problems of the wood based paper which is taxing the limits of libraries abilities as it is.…

More Top Digital Artists

Here is another list of 10 interesting digital artists from Behance.

1. JR Schmidt – Some of his work looks like creations made with psychedelic colored Lego blocks. Others look like landscapes in video games. Not sure why this work was rated so highly. But his specialty is 3D art and motion graphics which do  not come across in the single frames looked at.

2. Steve Fraschini – He does a lot of work with logos like those of Nike, some where he riffs on the logo itself and others where he incorporates it into other pictures. He does a few with no logos.

3. Andrea Mancuso – Where to start? Some of the most interesting are of figures that look like they are melting. There are some scifi  and fantasy figures. Some look kind of like the minions in Despicable Me. Then a range of others too diverse to describe.

4. Chris LaBrooy – Once again an interesting range of work. Depictions of cars or trucks bent or modified in interesting ways. A Time cover showing Made in the USA. Cheese, cheese and more cheese for Pringles. A sculpture of sneakers made with metal in front of a high rise building. Very effective. A number of pictures with letters in them in different ways. The letters are in different textures and materials. One might look like plush toy material, another food, another metal.

5. Victor Ortiz – A lot of 2D poster art style work. Very stylized. But within that constraint a wide variety of designs.

6. Justin Maller – Feel like a broken record. Once again a range of styles and subjects. Some of stylized sports stars. Others with lots of angles, a bit like cubist, more like the crystal woman in the X-Men but with color. Animals, people and objects like shoes depicted this way. There are several paintings / creations that look like glowing crystals. They are extremely captivating. A range of other styles/subjects as well.

7. Benjamin Voldman – A lot of art that looks like Claymation with some of the characters looking like minions from Despicable Me.

8. Dennis Mundt – A creature that looks like it came from the Simpsons, Star Wars type characters, Sponge Bob, animals dressed in odd ways.

9. Obery Nicholas – Mostly in black and white. Some fine portraits of Stephen King and Salvador Dali. Very detailed animal drawings, sometime with things on them, not sure what, not excactly clothing. Some women and other more abstract drawings.

10. Timothy J. Reynolds – 3D of buildings, but looking like the models built up from foam core. Others that would fit in in Saturday morning cartoons. Stylized landscapes and buildings.

Till next time!…

Some Top Digital Artists

Hate to give a plug to another website but Behance has come up with a list of artists they think are some of the best.

1. Evgeny Parfenov – He has a distinct style that reminds us of some of the poster art from the World War II era.

2. Alberto Seveso – He has a wide range of styles but several of his works are somewhat reminiscent of Hieronymous Bosch with maybe a little Salvador Dali thrown in. Others look fairly straight forward while some look like depictions of the blobs in lava lamps.

3. Anton Semenov – Most are faces with a fixation on the mouth in many. Some quite ghoulish. One that is fascinating is a face made up of many small arms.

4. Natalie Shau – Most of her work are just the heads of girls/women. Many are stylized with large eyes. Some are very frilly, others look like they are out of a horror movie.

5. Melvin Zelissen – Very well done. If you like science fiction and fantasy you will like his work. Some are transformers, some look like Vikings, others out of video games.

6. Bram Vanhaeren – Uses Illustrator. Almost looks like pen and ink sketches with some color thrown in. They are more minimalist and simple in character than many of the others.

7. Aaron Campbell – Wide range of styles. Some look like Salvador Dali on drugs if that is possible. One landscape looks like something done by a WPA artist. Very much that 1930s style. Others are illustrations for books or video games (in the style of Super Mario). One beautiful one called Sea of Glass Campaign depicts whales and seals and other undersea creatures.

8. Richard Davies – Amazing portfolio. He does mostly faces and frequently you don’t even see the entire face. Many are well known and are action heroes like Captain America and Daredevil. There is also Chevy Chase from Christmas Vacation, characters from Mad Men and many more. He portrait of Debbie Harry is beautiful, haunting and sexy as hell.

9. Martin Grohs – How do you categorize him? One compelling painting is a woman whose bottom half is an Octopus. Another is a beautiful pen and ink sketch. Others are different still. Google him and see for yourself.

10. Aleksi Kostyuk – Another wide range. Some of beautiful women, mostly neck up. Some of characters from the Slash movies. And an odd one, a Darth Vader Mickey Mouse.

Will hit some more on the next go round.…