can CG break into the Art World?

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  06 June 2005
Originally Posted by Stahlberg:
I just can't believe people who get paid 5 or 6 digits for painting something that could be done by anybody off the street, in about less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee and eat a sandwich, are being 100% honest about their art and motivations.

Well, I'm not a fan of abstract expressionism, conceptual, or any other type of "intellectual masturbation" type of art. The painters I pay attention to are the painters with true talent and skill that I respect--people like Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, Scott Burdick, Pino..etc. They are very successful and demands for their works far exceeds their ability to fulfill them. Morgan Weistling, another of the successful painters I respect, is so hot that collectors use lottery system to see who gets to buy his next painting. These guys are the real deal--master painters in ever sense of the word. The DVD's of their painting sessions are real eye-openers. Watching them actually painting each brushstroke and explaining the creative choices they make as they paint--you cannot fake that. I'm particularly fond of these painters because they carry the tradition of Sargent and other bravura painters. No guy off the street can do what they do.
  06 June 2005
The CG images on CGtalk are mostly what I'd call "fast delivery". The thing with illustrations, animations and whatnot is that they have to deliver their content instantaneously. A frame will only last so long and you can't expect people to really look at an illustration for more than a few minutes, not if the message is aimed for any audience wider than just the enthusiasts.

I admit that I'm not a big fan of hanging around art galleries, but I'm the first to admit that that's probably because I prefer fast delivery over slow. There's lot's of that "I could do that in five minutes" -stuff around, but you have to take note of the fact that those traditional artists responsible for it are mostly immersed in a slow delivery culture.

There's no telling what you can find in a splotch of paint, if only you spend enough time looking at it. And most importantly, get over the first negative reaction. I rarely do, but I wouldn't go so far as to say there's just opportunism and greed behind those splotches.
  06 June 2005
I've been thinking about this for a while as well, to me there is CG art which is as good as any other art form now. The problem comes when you talk about selling it as art. Since there is no "original" you will never get a comparable price for what traditional art sells for. Its only cmparable to other prints.

However as a commercial venture it is sold in different forms, such as games/films etc.

Someone mentioned Ray Ceaser, yes he does sell prints and they do fetch a reasonable amount but generally only the same sort of price that prints go for of traditional paintings. Compared to the originals of traditional paintings they go for pennies.
  06 June 2005
Quote: And I would personally prefer to be using real paint and creating art in the real natural world than sitting in front of a screen for my whole life

But that's what I'm trying to explain - in just a couple decades from now CG will have changed a lot.
What do all CG artists want? A better interface. Looking back 20- 30 years, have they gotten their wish? Yes, and then some. There's quite some difference between today's Cintiq and a card hole-puncher! Now imagine another 30 years into the future. Maybe the interface will be so cheap you can have a different one for each type of painting you want to do - a paper one, a canvas one, a watercolor board one... you un-roll it, press a button, and it takes on the look and feel of whatever ground you can imagine. Same with your brush tool. Then you paint, and the image is saved as a molecular file, 500 Terabyte or whatever, but you can re-use the "canvas" later. Then you print the image using nano technology, and it looks, feels and smells just like a real oil painting. With the difference that you can animate it if you want, or make the colors glow in ultraviolet if you want, or... I'm sure someone will come up with something wild none of us can even imagine yet.
  06 June 2005
Another issue I have been contemplating over the past few months is what does CG, whether it be 2D or 3D or a mix offer over a traditional painting on canvas. Say you have an absolutely perfect and stunningly rendered 2D or 3D CG image and you also have a traditional oil painting of the exact same standard. The only way you can get the CG piece out the into the real world is to print it as aforementioned. With the painting it already exists in the real. But its existence in the real offers it many advantages over a print - canvas texture, paint texture, paint reacting to light/shadow etc. With current technology there is no way that a CG can match this.

When it comes to displaying a static (non-moving) image a traditional painting is still far far ahead of what any digital piece can offer. When an audience is viewing the work it shouldn't matter what tool was used to create it, whether it be Maya, Photoshop, or oil paint. The only thing that matters is the final resulting piece of art. There is just something special about the texture, feel, and light of an amazing traditionally painted image. I have yet to see anyway a CG still could match this unique quality.

The place CG art obviously has something incredible to offer is in moving-image art, whether it be animation, video art, or film. Here we have something that a traditional painting cannot easily excel at. And even if you were to hand paint every frame of an animation traditionally it could still only be displayed through a TV or a projector - no different from how a CG piece would be displayed. There is still that special unique "natural" quality that hand-drawn animation, or hand stop-motion animated characters can offer, but CG art is a whole lot closer than it is in the static image art space.

Just something theories I have been going through in my head, debating the merits of traditional and CG art...
  06 June 2005
All those ideas about new digital canvases sound great and exciting. I definitely look forward to all sorts of things like that happening, and I'm sure they will change and create various new art forms.

I still think that there will always be something unique and special about creating something with traditional media. It comes down to how far you think computers will be able to replicate the real, and if they will truly be able to replicate the randomness of what nature and real life offers. The problem is someone always has to design how a digital watercolor brush will work, or how spreading differently colored thick oil paint into itself works. If you are creating a traditional water color every slight movement, breath of air, slant of the paper, of the brush affects the drip and flow of the colored water. Every instant the artist is at the canvas is unique. The complete randomness of life and existence is affecting their work. Computers (unless something like AI truly happens) will always be programmed and "told" how to do certain things, they will be replicating what we can already do in the Real.

I think where computers stand out is where they are generating something we can't in the real. I'm thinking of electronic music compared with midi of traditional instruments as an example. Uniquely computer generated sounds and music really are special and different - they could not exist if it were not for computers. On the other hand, midi is recreating and replicating what already exists in the real. Even the best midi sounds pale in comparison to a true unique orchestra.

I really can't see the computer ever completely replacing a violin or paint on canvas. It will however bring its own special gift to art, generating exciting and new, still unheard of techniques and ideas.
  06 June 2005
i completely agree with everything stated in your post, but i want to pose a question:

Originally Posted by Lunatique: There will be monographs of your work published, and you will leave your mark in this world in a more tangible way than any modeller, texture artist, art director, or animator at a CG studio. Even if you're not a fine artist but an illustrator, you will still go down in history, and you will still have monographs published of your works.

in this world where we see an ever far more computing power, an ever broadening possibilities of doing art with computer, an ever increase in technologies able to produce art (cintiq vs hole-puncher cards as Stahlberg put it), does a traditional artist will leave a "harder mark" in the world than the CG industry?

i agree that the names remembered will be from the creative minds using these new tools to create unique and completely new art, but a hundred years from now, in 2105, will historians look back at this year, for example, and pay more attention to traditional artists that sold their works to a handfull of rich people or the creative minds inside de CG industry that, sometimes, reached huge masses?

  06 June 2005
Originally Posted by eks: in 2105, will historians look back at this year, for example, and pay more attention to traditional artists that sold their works to a handfull of rich people or the creative minds inside de CG industry that, sometimes, reached huge masses?

Historians are already looking at the world of CG as part of the film industry. Animation and special effects have always been part of the film industry. Video games, on the other hand, might have a chance of breaking out into a medium that claims its own spot in history. The interactive nature is what sets video games apart from special effects and animation.

I think even in the best case scenerio, CG still image artists will only rise to about the same prestige as illustrators. But to even get to that level, CG still images will have to have their own roster of talents comparable to illustration giants like Norman Rockwell, JC Leyendecker, Howard Pyle..etc. That hasn't happened yet--not by a long shot.
  06 June 2005
how about, the more prints I make, the more will survive into the future. Including future technologies for better digital storage with no data loss in the long run, you're all in for quite the surprise. I think the monograph is a thing of the past. It will never completely disappear completely but I think that you will be more easily noticed and respeted for actual ability through the digital media. Making money from a digital painting which can easily be reproduced is an entirely different story.

I mean, we all know the movies, but what artists do we really know ?
modelling practice #1
  06 June 2005
Originally Posted by Lunatique: I think even in the best case scenerio, CG still image artists will only rise to about the same prestige as illustrators. But to even get to that level, CG still images will have to have their own roster of talents comparable to illustration giants like Norman Rockwell, JC Leyendecker, Howard Pyle..etc. That hasn't happened yet--not by a long shot.

does it needs to happen now? does an artwork needs to be sold and known when it was created to have some artistic value? or "historic artistic value"?

again the most classic example of this, Van Gogh paintings were sold only after he died. one of the things that set Van Goghīs painting apart was the emotion each brush stroke breathed. during a period where there was still many academic painters fighting against photographers for the position of better represeting the world, something Van Gogh was not worried about, this expressive brushes went unnoticed. only after paiting turned to itself and to the act of painting that those emotional brushes stand out in the general public eye. it was an era of revolution (that, in my humble opinion, with traditional painting, ended in Pollock and abstract expressionism). and, eventually, Van Gogh artwork was more important and relevant than his contemporaries.

and we are, still, in an era of revolution, in an era of new paradigms. the work from many many people here at CGTalk excel in quality, be it creative or technically or both, sometimes a piece can make you breathless as a traditional painting. the fact that such work is in a CG forum and not hanging in a museum gallery or in the dinning room of one of the Rockefellerīs does not make it less or better art. itīs still art. probably many people will stand out eventually, but that only time will tell. itīs hard to see the future when so many things are changing so fast.

  06 June 2005
Originally Posted by jmBoekestein: I mean, we all know the movies, but what artists do we really know ?

Can you really speak for everyone? The cultural standard for each person is different. There are people out there who don't watch movies at all.

And even if the general public knows more movies than artists, unless you wrote/directed/acted in those movies, do you think it really makes any difference?
  06 June 2005
I was thinking about what Steven said about the advancement of technology erasing the distinction between tradtional and digital, using molecular duplication methods. As much as I'm an optimist and and idealist, I'm also a lot more realistic now than I was when I was younger. Even if that technology becomes widely available to the average person, it's not going to happen in our lifetime, and we can't even be sure if it'll happen in our children's lifetime. Shouldn't we be doing things that make a difference in our own lifetime, thus fulfilling our needs and desires during our living years?
  06 June 2005
I always think of films like 2001 that came out about 30 years ago. They had incredibly idealistic and fantastic ideas about the future but it definitely was and still is science fiction. I don't doubt that there will be incredible advances in our technology, but I don't necessarily think that we will be seeing everything in such a short time as it sometimes seems possible.
  06 June 2005
Quote: it's not going to happen in our lifetime

Who can say for sure? You might live 60 more years, perhaps much more if a longevity drug is perfected before you kick the bucket...
Look 60 years back, where was CG then? (And it's not overly optimistic to say that MAYBE the rate of change will accelerate, because it HAS been accelerating for the last... well for ever basically.)

1945 or earlier - compare that to today. That's roughly the ballpark of change we're looking at for the second half of our lives. For damn sure our kids are going to see something really different before they die. In any case, my point is, unlike traditional arts, CG will gradually keep on changing. This single fact to me makes it more exciting.

Yeah, sure, it's fun to be a traditional artist in some ways, but it has drawbacks too compared to digital. And only 0.000...1 percent of all of the active traditional artists in the world today reach anywhere near the kind of immortality you talk about. Not that much better than the situation for us CG artists actually.
And - as I said, if you choose that way and turn your back on CG, you're stuck in a time-warp where nothing changes.
Until the day, a few decades from now, when
1. anyone will be able to have an "original", because any copy will be indistinguishable from an original. Also,
2. no one will care that you did it the 'old' way, because the 'new' way will have indistinguishable results. And,
3. even most artists won't care because the 'new' way will smell and feel like the 'old' way (if they want it to do so).
Not much will change for most artists, they still won't get paid, they're still going to have to work a 'normal' job just to afford the tools... just the top artists selling originals will loose their main source of income.

I know this doesn't change much for the individual artist today, but it's a reply to the question will CG ever break into the Art world? I guess my reply is, CG will break the Art world (in its present form).
Or absorb and assimilate it, like the Borg.

hey cool, my 2000th post

Last edited by Stahlberg : 06 June 2005 at 05:57 AM.
  06 June 2005
Digital really spoils you. I had one of those "I wish this was digital" moments just the other day. I was working on an oil painting and painting this one area where the brushtroke is vital to the way the painting looks; you lay it down and you cannot fudge with it afterwards by blending or feathering--it's that bravura painting style. I was doing fine, when one stray stroke destroyed all the surrounding strokes I worked so hard on. My immediate reaction was a clear, concise, and very LOUD mental scream of "WHERE THE F$CK IS MY MOTHERF$CKING UNDO?!"
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