Sunday, October 26, 2008

What exactly is art?

Some may argue that technology should not be confused with art. And I’m sure that same argument first surfaced back in the mists of time when the cave painters progressed from twigs and blood and charcoal and mud to bristle brushes and pigment paints.

For me the “Artistic” tools in the “Filter” menu of Photoshop are a pleasant and creative way to while away Sunday afternoon hours when I’ve had enough of the NFL for one day. Particularly because many of my favorite pictures are in negative format and more than 30 years old, it’s fun to try to artistically capture what I had in mind when I took the picture.

Here are two such attempts – the “nude on the hot tin roof” above is recreated with the “Waterpaper” tool in the “Sketch” command. The second nude, a model you have seen here many times earlier, is done with “Paint Daubs” in the “Artistic” command. In both cases these images recreate, at least to me, an intellectual argument that transcends the mere reproduction of the moment. We can ask, therefore, is art a technical application or an intellectual application? Without looking for binary answers, maybe we can say it is a subtle transfusion of both. Or, we can allways fall back on the old cliché, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”


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