How Did It All Start?
Who would have thought that the canvas is one of the oldest mediums of art known to man? The oldest preserved form of expression belongs to cave people, who used to doodle their visions of flesh-eating-lions, their personal belief in God(s) and their concept of family on rocks and in caves that were, thousands of years later, discovered by explorers.
The basic imagery they drew was simple and aimed to portray their understanding of the world around them. After that, more forms of art started to emerge with the discovery of colors and sculpting. At the start of this era, art revolved around the Church and higher class families that wanted to have self or family portraits in their homes. After the Renaissance, artists we know today like Da Vinci and Michelangelo paved their way into the art scene. This was also the period when different forms of art started to emerge including romanticism, realism and impressionism.
And Then Came Modern and Contemporary Art!
The 1800s and the 1900s gave us what we know as modern art with movements such as expressionism and symbolism. As of the 1970’s, we’re now witnessing the era of contemporary art, which is no less confusing, sophisticated or beautiful than any other movement of art known to us. If we were to delve into the history of art right now, you’d end up reading a 15-page thesis analyzing ancient art all the way to contemporary art.
What Happened After the Renaissance?
After the Renaissance, art became desired by many but only few had access to collectable pieces. Despite that, this was the start of the spread of the visual culture; and this is where the digital age comes in play as today. This prompts the question: has the digital age benefited or harmed art?
Today’s Digital Age and Art
Today, it has become easy for artists to upload or digitize their work to gain more exposure; they can even sell their work online. Not only, but more and more digital museums are popping up and more art is being produced digitally. Digital art has expanded and has become just as desirable as traditional forms of art like sculptures, graffiti and classical paintings. On the other hand, many seem to believe that the computer does not do justice in art as it cannot mimic the strokes of a brush; it cannot produce a masterpiece that will make a spectator weep because of its sheer beauty and genuinity. As well, art cannot always be protected online nor can it be as authentic.
The ongoing debate arises of whether this digitization of art has been beneficial or harmful to the traditional forms of art; we stand neutral, as we see all forms of art as an expression of thought, mood and subjective beauty. One can’t compare the works of picasso to the works of Murakami for example; the concept, vision and conditions under which the pieces were made all differ. Thus, this remains an open-ended question waiting to be answered by artists, art critics, art lovers and the mass alike. And You?