The confusion between what determines art as ‘real’ or not has plagued critics and artists from the late 20th and 21st centuries. The difference lies with the ‘real’ artists and the self-made ones. While ‘real’ artists learn and train with concrete things that require them to master certain skills, such as, pencils, brushes, colors, and flexibility to accustom themselves with having the inability to fix minor or major mistakes as easily, their art is one of a kind– existing physically and not as an arrangement of organized and assembled numbers or characters that could be copied and pasted from the world-wide web. Besides having the art exist physically, the digital “artist” takes what Luvisi’s high school art teachers call, “the easy path,” and buy some really expensive equipment. But if that’s cheating, then we need to take action and distinguish the properties and standards to determine what can gain the deserving credit.
As technology advances, it would be evident to see some “radical examples of limitations,” both within them and out of bounds. But with Photoshop for example, the complex coding’s purpose is to keep us from changing, creating or manipulating the sources needed for the equipment and features that are accessible to obtain the expensive tools and the subscriptions for more information. However, when it comes down to it, nothing has been found in the system that might enable users to create a forgery in their ‘art.’ Because Photoshop is about creating, refining and manipulating digital anomalies and art is the platform that helps build its business and foundation, the “marriage” between Photoshop and masterpieces of the world are, of course, way more intertwined than just visual manipulation.
For instance, Jorge Luis Borges wrote:
“Music, states of happiness, mythology, faces molded by time, certain twilights and certain paces– all these are trying to tell us something, or have told us something we should not have missed, or are about to tell us something; that imminence of a revelation that is not produced is, perhaps, the aesthetic reality.”
As art has become more experimental over time, it progressively advanced with technology by shaping itself onto an impossibly narrow path for what can be considered real or not. Resting on this fine line, critics have learned to stop being too prescriptive and too, well, critical. Borges’s surveyed philosophy makes for a better basis when it comes to learning and understanding art. In retrospect however, being able to tell if something looks right has become a continual astonishment over time, especially in the art world. Therefore, we are faced with a powerful paradox: how can we actually determine what is art and what isn’t?
To begin with, an art’s quality is such an enigmatic key as its role in “representational art is easier than in modern and abstract art.” This means that when everything looks good at first, it’s actually because there’s nothing you’ve looked at yet to compare it to. Some may think that “good and bad are personal distinctions and entirely in the ‘eye of the beholder,’” while others might hold fast to their own ideas, where “there is good art and crap art and no one can tell them otherwise.” Nevertheless, a small percentage that think the real answer is somewhere in between, may hold the overall vote that can prove critics wrong.
From this, I have learned, as well as from my elementary and high school art classes, that each area of art requires its own set of criteria when it comes to determining good and bad. Coming from my own beliefs, I think that originality should hold responsibility, and in many cases of today’s time, a majority of what is being created is being treated with a user’s sense of false authority. Although tough to accept, art markets influence good and bad, thus adding other various components that can also influence the value rather than the aforementioned fundament: quality. Conclusively, if you want to get a feel for it yourself, it’s recommended to get out and look for yourself.
Another important standard and focal point is the audience’s emotion. As the primary response for what an artist wants to pull away, the artist wants to stimulate feelings of bliss or joy, grief or sorrow, antagonism or fury, pride or patriotism, etc. A good example of these emotional balances is Norman Rockwell’s emotive impression of a young “African-American girl named Ruby, being escorted to class by US marshals while a thrown tomato is depicted” staining the school wall behind her. As Rockwell’s audience responds with rage and outrage (on both sides), Ruby is able to set an example by walking a literal fine line. On the other side of this line is “the dude in his parent’s basement painting all black watercolors of his cat,” because creating art for oneself, and not for the public or considered audience in mind, is almost considered to be mental. But to be fair, many famous artists have been or were insane.
Next over, I’d like to mention yet another factor on how digital art, like all art (so-to-speak), is not easy. In defense of this new form of artistic expression, it’s medium (media), there are so many different categories of styles and effects. For example, one could be great at sculpting, but weak at painting. In effect, we can say that digital art is a mix of a physical, emotional depth that has the profound ability to create a response from the audience while, also, requiring a trained eye for the use of mediums and types of other necessary tools. So because the malleability in the medium can’t be compared to an actual physical anomaly, an in-depth comparison is able to identify this as a manual craft skill. Although having nothing to do with the manual craft skills needed for the non-digital, sometimes, it is possible to have the manual, physical skills without ever touching the paper with a pencil. These types of artists are a rarity because of this.
In final conclusion, it would be appropriate to say we’ve learned more about how and why digital art has the reputation it does in the art community due to the fact it’s all made up of computerized, non-physical evidence. However, all artists have the ability to make use of their elements by helping to organize, make, and set enhanced standards for what is now considered a type of art form. To determine what deserves the credit and what doesn’t, we can improve in our attempts to understand and learn from history’s great artists. In effect, we can better ourselves in being critics by doing so.
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