Digital Art & Hockney

Hockney's Bigger Picture Show includes Ipad creations. It is a remarkable beast and a great pity that I cannot justify buying one for my own use. Anyway, I wonder how many members of BAS (and prospective members) are making art with their Ipads. Digital creations are already a feature of our exhibitions and examples are shown in our members' gallery. Some new BAS members are highly qualified photographers; some use computer applications, such as Photoshop, and make wonderful art. I feel that this is something to be encouraged rather than discouraged. I expect we will be displaying more and more digital and digitised art in the days to come.


What is art?

I had a very interesting time on Saturday strolling round some weird and wonderful 'artworks' in the Tate Modern with a nine-year-old. His first comment was 'this isn't art'. This led to a bit of a discussion and further strolls around strange installation art etc revealed that to him, art is what he likes. I love the work produced on computers by our members and I think it's fair to say that if the person who made it sees it as art, it's art, whatever other people think. It's just like music. All this 'modern rubbish' is often enthralling, moving or exciting to me.

Chris R

Digital Art

I'm afraid I do not agree. To me digital art is something new and should not be shown alongside paintings, drawings and etchings done by conventional methods. Next thing is including photography, an art form of it own.

Trouble at the edges

We all know how difficult it is to decide "What is Art?". The impressionists were derided when they started but are now the popular choice of reationaries everywhere. To me Art includes those painting yet another watercolour of a flower, perhaps copying it, as well as those trying new media and new subjects. "Would I hang it on my wall" is a question I find more useful, questions of scale aside. In my case this would exclude pickled sharks and fly blown meat but not necesarily prints of spots. I also know that my tastes have changed since I started painting and going to galleries myself and I learnt a bit more about what the Artists were trying to say.

I have not yet seen the Hockney exhibition and do not know what he did with an Ipad which is different from any other combination of camera, graphics tablet and graphics programme, but BAS has had digital works by Leslie Tucker and Derrick Waller for ages. Photography can be a creative medium too. Perhaps those who use chemicals creatively to manipulate images might feel more at home with us than with a camera club concerned only with f-stops and technical excellence.

I think we should be careful about turning away those who are experimenting with new techniques. Let's have some of these images alongside the others and see what happens.


Well, there was Caravaggio and his pinhole. Later there was Degas who did a lot with his camera. Then along came Hockney with his camera in the 1960s, and David Mach has produced some remarkable photo-collages shown at The RA Summer Exhibition in the last few years. There is giclee, too! What is Art? If something is described as Art, it is Art. Remember the Urinal? (Marcel Duchamp's Fountain of 1917)

A urinal is not art. It was

A urinal is not art. It was Duchamp's inverting it and putting it on a plinth that made it art, in the same way that a tube of paint is not art until someone spreads it on canvas. I think Duchamp said something important with this, but many works since have been derivative - rather like the copied watercolour flower. It is made even more complicated by the fact that the "original" was lost and Duchamp authorised "replicas" which are now shown with reverence. Same, I think, with Carl Andre's bricks.

I'm unhappy with the notion that absolutely anything is art if an "artist" says it is, because clearly that lets some right chancers in. However unless and until BAS is overwhelmed I think we can afford to be encouraging rather than disparaging to new ideas.

A Urinal is not Art

Too true! Duchamp was obviously taking the (what was it?) when he 'found' it and laid it down so that it lost its use. He did, however, excite the viewer of Art to look at the world in a new way. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so Art is in the eye of the beholder. An artist who produces something he/she declares Art but is not perceived as such by beholders is arrogant. Your chancer, I think. Hogarth's book on Beauty declares that the serpentine curve best displays beauty (think of the Kellogs ad. girl in red).

A recent tv prog. had to do with researching the perception of paintings in many countries by many people groups, and the same painting was preferred everywhere. The predominant colour was blue. Here's an opportunity: blue serpentine curves on a blue ground - lots of different blues, of course! Then take the digital photo. and tweak in Photoshop. Test the public by trying to sell the giclee prints.