Mac

Is This Art?

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I found these examples in the GALLERY at The Computer Graphics Society. I've seen better surfing the web and chose these almost at random just to illustrate my question. My standard of choice was that the works had to be representaional. Unfortunately these "artists" offer no information on how they made these works. However, I do know that this kind of work can be done just like a traditional artist works. He starts with a blank page. Then he can use a tablet and pen to draw and select colors into his graphics program.

th_the_good_arrowhead.jpg

Title: The Good Arrowhead

Name: Alexander Beliaev

Country: Canada

Software: Photoshop

Large image HERE.

th_blue_bird.jpg

Title: Happiness Is A Blue Bird

Name: Jose Manuel Oli

Country: Espana

Software: Photoshop

Large image HERE.

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If the method used is as described -- starting with a blank slate and using a light pen to draw the image and apply color -- then I would consider these works art as much as I would consider other forms of painting, i.e., pastels, watercolors, etc. However, if the technique used includes things like using the computer to manipulate pre-existing elements or forms, or to automatically create texture, or, in general, to employ any automatic technique that replicates rather than creates the reality, then I would consider the result to be "artistic" rather than art per se.

With that said, I find the works that Mac selected "at random" to be rather amazing, whatever the technique used. Whether art or "artistic," it is incredible what can be done by a creative mind with a computer.

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However, I do know that this kind of work can be done just like a traditional artist works. He starts with a blank page. Then he can use a tablet and pen to draw and select colors into his graphics program.

I don't understand your question. If you're asking: if the images below were created from scratch by an artist on a computer rather than conventional physical media, is it "really art", I would think the answer is obvious: of course it is. Some of the best artistic things being done today are the top Japanese anime, done on computer, in my opinion.

I have spoken with one very talented sculptor who rather snobbishly discounted the possibility that a sculptor could someday use sophisticated multi-axis computer input to virtually sculpt a statue (at this point, probably already being done), but that is more a concrete bound lack of imagination than it is a philosophic issue.

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I found these examples in the GALLERY at The Computer Graphics Society. I've seen better surfing the web and chose these almost at random just to illustrate my question. My standard of choice was that the works had to be representaional. Unfortunately these "artists" offer no information on how they made these works. However, I do know that this kind of work can be done just like a traditional artist works. He starts with a blank page. Then he can use a tablet and pen to draw and select colors into his graphics program.

I found the website of the second artist, whose piece I find very striking, here. You can follow the making of Happiness is a Blue Bird here.

From what I can tell, it looks like original artwork. Unfortunately, the artist's intent in Happiness is a Blue Bird (which he explains here) is not at all what I got from it. Good thing I don't put much weight on the artist's intentions.

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I found the website of the second artist, whose piece I find very striking, here.

And from that artist's "LINKS" I see that there is an entire community of extremely talented artists whom I never even knew existed. Not the least of which is Yanick Dusseault, whose credits include some of the most spectacularly beautiful visuals in the movies. His Matte Painting and Production Art is exquisite. And he is just one of the links to explore!

I feel like a kid let loose in a candy factory right around the corner from where I live, never having known that the place existed. I don't know what to munch on first! :D Thanks to Mac for introducing this world, and to Sarah for following up on things.

Unfortunately, the artist's intent in Happiness is a Blue Bird (which he explains here) is not at all what I got from it. Good thing I don't put much weight on the artist's intentions.

That's amazing, isn't it. In a million years I never would have guessed the artist's intent, especially since I still can't see it after being told what it is! :D

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I love those. They remind me of the SF art made by people like Michael Whelan, etc.

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Here is another example of an interesting work where the artist's intent is anything but what I get from the piece. This digital painting is titled "Spoiled" and it is from this gallery of works that I reached from the original links Sarah posted about. Below the picture is the artist's description of what was intended.

spoiled.jpg

At times, Nature is the master of Humanity... and at other times, Humanity certainly rules Nature.

Nature makes us hurry inside when she weeps rain upon the world. With hurricanes, she toys with us. Tornadoes are used to punish, earthquakes to throw us about like pebbles in a child's game. We live on her land, and through that, she rules over us. Our very bodies belong to her - they age in rhythm with her, and they are subject to urges and desires that she imposes on us. In some ways, we're little but slaves to Nature's ways.

But Humanity... on the other hand... has found another way to dominate. Humanity destroys what we touch. We reach out towards pretty things in greed, and leave a trail of death behind. We fence the woods in, we run over the animals and poison the seas. Ours is a different kind of mastery but it is one nevertheless. Nature serves us because she has no other choice. Humanity always expects Nature to mend what damage we've done: heal the woods burned down, return the animals hunted to extinction and cleanse the seas... never considering what will happen the day Nature is no longer there to catch us.

In this piece, I tried to show this relationship. Humanity a naïve yet destructive burden, the smile on her lips slight and dreamy as she thinks of the beautiful flowers she will pluck and the lovely birds she will see while all around her these very things now fade away. She's blind to the destruction she causes. She knows that Nature will be there for her, she knows that there will always be the scent of flowers and always the gentle surge of the sea. She is Nature's master in that Nature has no choice but to try to catch her and always try to mend the damage she has done... but she is Nature's slave because she must breathe the air, drink the water and eat the food that only Nature can give her.

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I would also like to thank Mac very much for starting this thread!

Though some works are a little too dark for my tastes, I really like the drama and fantasy in Linda Bergkvist's work. Her work can be seen at the site called Furiae, which Stephen just posted about. It is amazing how philosophically terrible these artists are, and yet what an extraordinary style they have!

I really love:

Absolute_by_blackeri.jpg

The artist is Marta Dahlig. I found this artist from a link from a website that also sells the works of Linda Bergkvist. Pints are also available here.

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I would also like to thank Mac very much for starting this thread!

Though some works are a little too dark for my tastes, I really like the drama and fantasy in Linda Bergkvist's work. Her work can be seen at the site called Furiae, which Stephen just posted about. It is amazing how philosophically terrible these artists are, and yet what an extraordinary style they have!

I really love:

Absolute_by_blackeri.jpg

The artist is Marta Dahlig. I found this artist from a link from a website that also sells the works of Linda Bergkvist. Pints are also available here.

This painting does not have a sound structure. The upper torso is out of shape. An artist can distort nature, but it has to appear correct. For example, M. Angelo's Pieta, if studied carefully, is distorted for a purpose, the distortion is not noticeable.

The artist, in this case did not consintrate enough!

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This painting does not have a sound structure.

Could you please explain what you mean by "sound structure," and indicate in what way it is lacking in the painting.

The upper torso is out of shape.

How so?

An artist can distort nature, but it has to appear correct.

Do you actually mean "distort," or, perhaps, "emphasize?"

For example, M. Angelo's Pieta, if studied carefully, is distorted for a purpose, the distortion is not noticeable.

I'd be interested in learning in what way it is "distorted," and for what purpose.

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Yes, Sophia, that is beautiful and amazingly detailed fabric. I've just been looking at the close-ups on Linda Bergkvist's site. Other works by her which I find especially beautiful and innocent are: Glimpse of Summer (that cat is fabulous), Gone(the boy's face is extraordinary), Rose Of My Innocense (great imagination), Sound of Happiness (you can almost hear the great accoustical effects of that open hallway), and the bright and rich Songs Under The Apple Tree.

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Yes, Sophia, that is beautiful and amazingly detailed fabric. I've just been looking at the close-ups on Linda Bergkvist's site. Other works by her which I find especially beautiful and innocent are: Glimpse of Summer (that cat is fabulous), Gone(the boy's face is extraordinary), Rose Of My Innocense (great imagination), Sound of Happiness (you can almost hear the great accoustical effects of that open hallway), and the bright and rich Songs Under The Apple Tree.

Once again, this painting shows a lack of drawing skill in the face and other areas of the body. The drapery is good, but the figure is not. The artist has an imagination, but without better understanding of the human body all is for naught.

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The artist has an imagination, but without better understanding of the human body all is for naught.

I can understand criticism that faults an artist's understanding of the human body, but to claim such fault as resulting in "all is for naught" (at least in this particular case) does not seem just to me. I personally revere the lucid clarity of Salvador Dali's painting style, but much of his work (but certainly not all) offers little in the way of meaning. I would greatly prefer to look every day at a technically-faulted painting that projects a marvelous sense of life, than a technically correct but meaningless-content painting.

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Once again, this painting shows a lack of drawing skill in the face and other areas of the body. The drapery is good, but the figure is not. The artist has an imagination, but without better understanding of the human body all is for naught.

All is for naught because without unity a painting is nothing, even though some parts are well done. The face in this painting is some kind of stereotyped version of what I see in many artists today. I don't know what to call the style? Franzettaish or something like that. Sorry if I spelled the name wrong.

If some of the parts in a car work, yet others were broken, would the car run?

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If some of the parts in a car work, yet others were broken, would the car run?

That is a poor analogy. The essential purpose of a car requires that it operate as a whole for transport. If everything is perfect about the car, except for the little distributor cap, it will not run. One small part defeats its purpose entirely. But art objectifies values, and art can accomplish that purpose to a large degree even if in some way it is technically faulted.

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Could you please explain what you mean by "sound structure," and indicate in what way it is lacking in the painting.

How so?

Do you actually mean "distort," or, perhaps, "emphasize?"

I'd be interested in learning in what way it is "distorted," and for what purpose.

Somehow, I can not find my original reply, so here is number two!

Simple, a sound structure means, correct anatomy!

A trained eye, two of which I have, can observe that the figures arm has no perspective, the arm and shoulder do not have dimension, nor does the hand. Hence, the entire shoulder, arm and hand area are out of whack!!

I mean distort, or what ever, you get my point!

In reality, the Madonna's legs would be eight feet long. The purpose of this distortion is to make the statue beautiful! This statement is useless without observing the statue.

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Once again, this painting shows a lack of drawing skill in the face and other areas of the body. The drapery is good, but the figure is not. The artist has an imagination, but without better understanding of the human body all is for naught.

I agree that there is nothing of especial value in the face or body. You say that "the drapery is good, and with that, too, I agree. I can conclude that some is for naught, but not all.

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Just to be clear, in this post we are talking about the picture referenced by Sarah in this post.

Could you please explain what you mean by "sound structure," and indicate in what way it is lacking in the painting.

How so?

Do you actually mean "distort," or, perhaps, "emphasize?"

I'd be interested in learning in what way it is "distorted," and for what purpose.

Simple, a sound structure means, correct anatomy!

Okay.

A trained eye, two of which I have, can observe that the figures arm has no perspective, the arm and shoulder do not have dimension, nor does the hand. Hence, the entire shoulder, arm and hand area are out of whack!!

I agree that there are technical concerns in the picture, but perhaps not to the degree that your professional eye discerns. However, at least for me, what the picture projects in terms of emotions far outweighs my concern for the technical faults.

I mean distort, or what ever, you get my point!

In reality, the Madonna's legs would be eight feet long. The purpose of this distortion is to make the statue beautiful! This statement is useless without observing the statue.

Actually, if the Madonna stood upright she would be seven feet tall in entirety. But, regardless, yes, I understand what you mean about the Pieta. Michelangelo's exaggeration in that work is well-known, even beyond the art critic world.

However, I do object to your use of "distort" here. The connotation of "distort" is similar to that of "deform," to twist out of shape in an unnatural way. By contrast, art can exaggerate, idealize, or emphasize in a purposeful manner; stylization bringing harmony to the art work. The Pieta is a great work of art and, in my view, befitting of being characterized by these latter words, rather than "distort."

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That is a poor analogy. The essential purpose of a car requires that it operate as a whole for transport. If everything is perfect about the car, except for the little distributor cap, it will not run. One small part defeats its purpose entirely. But art objectifies values, and art can accomplish that purpose to a large degree even if in some way it is technically faulted.

OK! But do you get my point? When a painting is poorly done, that is all!!!

One can not talk himself into an objective reasoning frenzy, it is to no avail!

In art there are positives, right and wrong, good and bad. To muddy these essentials leads to rationalization.

A painting is not a sketch, it must be a finished unit. If you are talking about a quick sketch, one is allowed to make mistakes, that is why it is a sketch. The painting in question is rendered with a high degree of finish, but the underlying structure is faulty.

My part on this subject is is finished. Marvin Steel, artist and painting restorer. PAIC

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That is a poor analogy. The essential purpose of a car requires that it operate as a whole for transport. If everything is perfect about the car, except for the little distributor cap, it will not run. One small part defeats its purpose entirely. But art objectifies values, and art can accomplish that purpose to a large degree even if in some way it is technically faulted.

OK! But do you get my point? When a painting is poorly done, that is all!!!

Yes, I get your point, but I disagree with it. The value of art as emotional fuel is so great a value that if one has a positive sense of life response to a work that is, in some technical sense, faulted, then I say embrace that work and do not let anything or anyone stand in your way of doing so.

In art there are positives, right and wrong, good and bad. To muddy these essentials leads to rationalization.

And who has muddied these essentials?

Let me ask you a somewhat different question. Do you allow for an aesthetically great work of art for which you do not like at all what it communicates?

The painting in question is rendered with a high degree of finish, but the underlying structure is faulty.

Perhaps, but to me it projects more real emotion and evokes a sense of life response in me that has more meaning than many works by "professional" artists.

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Speaking of exaggeration, twenty-seven years ago I, with absolutely no training or personally developed skill, painted a picture which I enjoy to this day. Beginning in the foreground, stretching back, are pale yellow desert sands. A half dozen green lightposts, diminishing from right and left, stand guard over a non-existent road leading to a highly peaked pale blue mountain under a paler blue sky. All is desolate, no sign of life. But, standing in front of the mountain, towering above it, dwarfing it, is a goblet of black and purple vertical stripes, and pouring out of the goblet's brim, out and into the sky, overflowing the world, giving it light, in place of the sun, are purest red and yellow plumes and flames of brilliant, but soft benevolence. I call it The Cup Of Creation. Only a giant (in spirit) can drink out of it.

Some day, when I get a digital camera, I'll show it.

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Speaking of exaggeration ... Some day, when I get a digital camera, I'll show it.

Your description of the painting makes it sound marvelous.

Feel free to send it to me and I will reproduce it. :D

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