Digital works


From 1999 – 2008 I made many digital works and experimented with how to print or show them. Mostly I used canvas to print and painted again after printing. My aim was to combine paint and print and to use the ditital way of looking at things, the Digital View into the paint. In 2001 I took the initiative for the artist group Digt_paint. Together with Astrid Moors we made 6 exhibitions, more info: digt-paint.nltext about the influence of digital media on art below (2008…)

2008 – digt_paint 6.21, ‘the digital view’, Arti et Amicitiae Amsterdam
2007 – digt_paint 5.3 _beta, Haagweg 4 Leiden
2005 – digt_paint 4.5, Osmosis, de toren van Babel, Utrecht
2005 – digt_paint 3.3, ddd, Galerie Jorissen, Mechelen (B)
2003 – digt_paint 2.5, De Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem
2002 – digt_paint 1.5, De Veemvloer, Amsterdam

Light in Painting

Lecture at Zakynthos Art Festival, 2013

Laantje van Middelharnis, Meindert Hobbema

Google landscape painting

When you google a painting for example I googled one by a Dutch painter who lived in seventeenth century Meindert Hobbema, you will find the painting many times and in different color shades. The colors in the images of the painting is changing because of the quality of the photo. But is the real painting not also changing depending from the place where it is hanging. If the light is changing the colors of the landscape theoretically the light ON the painting is changing also, in other words the same painting looks differently when it is hanging in different museums and in different parts of the world.

When do we see the right colors?

Google is showing us more than one image of the same painting at the same time. Only if you ‘ve seen the real painting you can judge what is right, but only to a certain extend. It is the memory of seeing the real painting that tells you which one you recognize as the real one. How disappointing that may be.
Looking at art is a subjective experience depending from the circumstances you are seeing it and where and when you live on earth. Light is one of the influences art.

I also googled Dutch landscape painting then replaced Dutch by 20 other countries to see what comes out of it. Of course is it arbitrary. It is full of mistakes but it still shows an image: for example Greece landscape: blue, Dutch landscape:the sky.

  • More than a century ago the invention of photography caused a revolution in painting. The reproduction of reality, until that time the main subject of painting, had to compete with photography and now also film. The exclusive right to depict portrait or landscape became the source of much discussion. With the arrival of Impressionism the snapshot like image appeared showing the subject in painting to be clearly influenced by photography .

    In the past twenty-five years a new history-making process has taken place, <em>the digital revolution</em>. We see signs of this both on the level of material techniques used and on the level of depicted content . We see this through a daily bombardment of images in TV-leaders and commercials, in holiday pictures, videos and many other social applications outside the arts. We live at a moment in culture where being visually aware, or unaware, defines our thinking and looking. Whilst this is neither a new nor unfamiliar conclusion for the contemporary painter, reproducing reality has become a less valuable and more elusive concept.

    Within photography and film the link with the digital revolution is both immediate and direct. However, by digitalizing the documentary photograph the authenticity of the captured and frozen moment is less certain. Similarly, the frequent use of blue screen technology in the world of film and video also displaces reality. The viewer of photography and film accepts the influence of digital media within these disciplines, being neither disappointed nor surprised, and therefore seemingly appreciative of new possibilities.

    In painting the link with the digital revolution is less obvious. Nevertheless ‘the digital view’ is more and more apparent through the evolution of image processing/drawing software and creates a new visual palette. This gives completely new possibilities to the contemporary painter / image composer. By mixing photography, printing and digital projections with acrylic and or oil paint the painter is no longer restricted to using one particular technique.

    As once expressionism moved towards a more abstract level, to distinguish itself from photography and film, this new approach to the art of painting will walk a less familiar track by using digital techniques. The painters of digt-paint make it their task to show these new tracks by organizing exhibitions. By bringing together different works of art and different artists new discoveries will be exchanged to examine the question; ’What is the influence of digitalizing on painting? ’

    January 2008 / digt-paint