When I think of art I think of great artists of the past. Artists that have spent practically all their lives to produce visually stunning pieces of work. Artists such as Michelangelo, who spent 15 years of his life to finalize a painting on the ceiling of the St. Peter’s Cathedral. When I think of art, I think of the legendary sculptures of the classical era. Artists then envisioned a final work from a block of stone. However, It is very difficult for me to consider a person who sits in front of a computer and plays with a pre-programmed software as an artist. As narrow as that statement may sound, In my opinion, it seems true and to the point.
My sophmore year at Seton Hall I assumed an art class, Art of the Western World. I took the class because like most classes at the University, I needed it fulfill my requirements. However, by the end of the semester I was amazed about art, more so then I ever was. In fact, I have never cared about art before in my life. But the class acquired my eyes to appreciate artistic objects around me. I began to realize that art is a long and difficult process. A skill that requires great determination and perfection. Early painters had to face the difficulties of paint drying too fast or the paper fading. Besides that, I witnessed how the great sculptures imagined the final work before it was even begun. Initially, they started from a block of stone or marble, having to carve out each and every layer. I was amazed, I could not imagine how long or difficult this could be. How long it must have took to create certain final works was incredible and for what, the mere satisfaction and thrill?
Maybe it is because artists of the past did not have breakthrough technology like we do today. Because if they did, then it is possible they would have taken easier routes to complete their work. But, today’s computer graphic designers have it much easier in my opinion. Granted, they too have to spend long hours learning the functions of a program. However, the software has been premade by other programmers. So how can u consider yourself an artist when you are using someone else’s program in which you are limited to what the programmer has installed. You cannot go beyond for this matter. You can only create what the program allows you to.
My basis is that computer graphics designers already have a three-dimensional world to create images in. Where as, traditional artists did not. If a painter wanted to create an image where a person was walking away from the picture, the artist had to create that image and all the indications so that the person looks like he or se is walking away from us. The painter has to create the three-dimensional image him or her self. A computer graphics designer already has the 3D image there and only needs to create the person and objects around it.
First off, a computer artist must understand all the tools and functionalities of the program in order to create images. It is quite possible that it could take a person a decade to learn most, if not all, the tools and functions of a particular program. Computer graphics gives a person all the tools they need to express themselves. It gives a person the ability to create certain things with simple mouse clicks. For the first time, it is possible to convey the bottom of our dreams and really visualize the creatures that live in it. It is efficient, extremely creative, but very controversial.
Computer graphics allows room for error. Now should that validate whether or not it should be included as an art form? Traditional artists did not have margin for error. Well not as much at least. Traditional artists could paint over an error to cover up a mistake or they could carve out an extra piece to make the error look not as drastic. But it is quite evident that they could only make few mistakes before the work would have to be redone or start all over. However, in computer graphics one has the freedom to constantly make errors and the ability to erase or undo them unlimitedly. The magic of computers works wonders in this way.
There is an apparent difference between a novice computer graphics designer and an expert. Just like there is between a child who paints his or her first picture and a painter who paints the Mona Lisa. Both are artists in a sense. Both have created images from a stroke of a brush. Both have created something from nothing. So the difference is visible between a person who creates his or her first computer generated scene and one that has generated thousands of scenes. It comes down to practice and time. Getting to know your equipment. In this case, getting to know the tools and software. But, to me I just don’t see the fine line of when you can actually label someone as a computer artist if in fact you choose to do so. I think that computers are doing more of the action. I just see it in a way where the software is more important than the actual person. Where as traditional art is the complete opposite.
I am in no way putting down the artistic presence of computer graphics. Computers vastly affect the final product in ways that humans could not have done before. The final image could be so realistic that it is mind blowing to the human eye. Not even the finest artist’s of the past could have portrayed such an image no matter how skilled they were. Computers are the future of our society and computer graphics will continue to improve upon what the human is capable of; distorting, fixing, and altering an image the artist produces. Seeming so realistic, that the public only can admire and accept it.
Take, for instance, the images I have attached. Two simple images, in my opinion, but it is clear on how a computer improves upon an image. Ways in which u can reflect light or create shadows are so ideal that it is almost too perfect in my eyes. The Bathroom Sink image is very glossy to the point where you can actually believe that the image is real or even right in front of you. Traditional artists could not have completed an image to this extent. No matter how realistic they could attempt to make it, the paints, paper, or tools could not allow it. No matter how three-dimensional they can get, they could not reflect the light or create the texture of the objects to seem “real”. It would look rougher and the colors would not be as well defined. Another example is the Ocean image. Although in this image, there was not as much help from a computer standpoint. The artist took a photograph and applied some alterations to the clouds, water, and light. But again, without the help of a computer, the image would not look as sharp. In images like this, only small and few alterations are needed to advance upon what the initial image looked like, creating a more ideal image.
See Attached Images:
It is quite possible that I have not had enough presence with computer graphic programs to understand all the artistic functions it has to offer. But I have been introduced to it enough for me to base my opinion on whether or not it is an art form. The fact that I have been exposed to traditional art helps me understand true fine art, if there is such a thing. I am not denying the capability of computer-generated images in any way. I do realize that computer software is an advanced instrument and a modern day form of expression with an unlimited amount of potential. Nevertheless, At least to this period of its existence, labeling computer graphics as “Fine Art” is a stretch.