What is the influence of digitalizing on painting?

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, the digital revolution. 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 andfrozen 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 offers 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 use one particular technique.

As once expressionism moved toward 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