Art on the Internet

I’m just wanting to write a short blog today, so sorry if there are no images, or its not long.

I just wanted to put out there a quick something around modern art. So, there are not that many people who will actually spend the time (and sometimes money) to go visit a gallery. Not many people will actually say to themselves “hey I know something fun to do today, lets visit an art gallery together”. Not unless they are in another country and seeing old masters’ works.

I’d really love to see people spending more time in Art Galleries, and around art. And I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Art Galleries being more accessible to everyone, including families, and people not the usual art fan.

I would love to see children welcomed around a gallery, and encouraged to interact with the art. Those ushers standing around the gallery making sure you don’t touch the priceless artworks would be better ‘stopping little fingers’ by coming up to the children and engaging them in the artwork, asking them what they see in the artworks, asking them about the colours, and the shapes, and in this way also growing little minds into a love of art and being around art.

I also get that galleries normally are silent experiences, and I get that some art when you see it stuns you into silence, but why should a gallery be silent? Why should art be approached with a quiet reverie and no word spoken apart from people who are then glared at from disturbing the peace. Personally I’m always worried I’m going to be thrown out of a gallery…. I just think art is an experience, and people should come to it in any way they feel like it. Talking openly about it, expressing their displeasure, or their intrigue. Or even going right up close to the art (I always go right up close, and to be honest I love touching art works and try whenever I can to touch the art… though I know its wrong, and I know the reasons why…..shame on me….).

An art gallery should be fun, it should be an experience, and it should certainly be educational and inspiring. And as I always say it should promote conversation and communication between people, sharing their ideas and their responses.

I am pleased that places like the City Gallery in Wellington has days which are open for mums and babies to come through, but I feel like these one off days is not enough to really get the message across that they are welcome, that they don’t have to worry about little children getting excited and touching the work. It is just things at the end of the day….. Eventually time is going to catch up with it, and realistically grown ups have done more damage to priceless artworks than any children ever have. (I’m thinking of destroying art during wars etc.)

But, the good news is that even if you don’t want to go into a gallery most art is online now! Yippee!! So we can all get involved.

One thing though that I think is that creators of websites need to be getting more creative with the ways in which art is shown on websites. I would love to see art websites being more interactive, more noisy, and exciting. Exactly how I think galleries should be. They should encourage traffic, and not just from other artists, but from general other people. I think they should allow people to see and respond, and maybe to create response art that can be shared alongside the original art work.

There is so much art online. from everyone, just everywhere.

For a good mix of artworks, most of which are digital you can look at a website such as deviantart.com.

Or there is the brilliant website for art across the world with the cultural institute.

This website is so awesome! Its been built in conjunction with 1000s of leading art galleries across the world so that people anywhere can see art that they otherwise won’t be able to see. It is designed so that the images are of the highest quality, so that you can get right up close, and as personal as you’ll get when sitting behind a computer screen, and even sometimes when you are in front of the art work itself. You are able to group art from various locations together so you can create new stories with the art.

This website is what I truly imagine art needs to get to. I think there are some definite things it could do better, but I think as a start, this website is the most amazing secret project, and it should be huge! It needs to get to be a place where people stop by regularly in the same way they check out Facebook or twitter daily.

People need art in their lives, but so many people will never get to see all this amazing art in the world. And the ones who do get to see it, will not get to take say the Mona Lisa and sit it next to Starry night to see what story that creates. But the cultural institute allows you to do this.

The internet is so important for art, and I think Artists need to be free-er with sharing their work with the world. They need to be less worried about people making prints of their work. I get that there is a lot of greed in the world, and I get that artists need to have their artworks making them money. But I think Art is more important than just an income. Good art needs to be shared and shared again. It needs to be touching people daily, and getting people interacting, communicating, building communities, and living. Really living.

I think a lot of people have forgotten the power of Art. Or maybe not forgotten, but just stopped really caring. They’ve started looking for something else in the creation of Art. Fame, Money, eternity. And they have stopped realising that Art is bigger than any one person. Art is something that comes from the core of people. It communicates something larger than what can be spoken.

I think it is so awesome that social media makes it so easy to share Art with the world. And I think it is amazing some of the works that people are sharing. Social media is creating artworks that reflect the state of the world at that instant, not the state of the world in a particular time period, but actually in that very second. I’m not sure that all the art that is shared online is great (a lot is shown just to boost recognition, and thats fine) and I think a lot of art is created very quickly, in response to things that are happening in each moment. I think a lot of art that is shared online is created to get a message across in a way which isn’t difficult, it doesn’t have other meanings. The images are straightforward and provide one perspective only. Something that I don’t think makes great art, but instead makes a great message.

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The picture above I found on Facebook, I’m not sure who is credited with the artwork – which in some ways is a problem, because we need to know who made the art so we can see it in the context of their work as well as being able to give them the recognition and reward for their work that is due. But looking at the artwork above, its a good image, with a good meaning, but there is only one meaning in this artwork. The image is instant, and provides the instant gratification that we expect on social media, as this picture shows, the gratification of a like or a smiley face, but it doesn’t provide us with anything meaningful, or lasting. This image is one of those things which will hit us for an instant, and then we will keep scrolling and we won’t think about it again.

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Again, the image above is not credited to anyone on Facebook, and again it makes a good point about mothers giving everything of themselves for their families. On the surface it appears that the message is deep, but really without allowing the viewers other ways to think about the image there is nothing lasting about this image. Maybe someone might reference ‘a picture they once saw’ in conversation at some stage. But they are not going to say to someone about this image that really made them stop and think about the world, and really have to search deep for their own thoughts on the matter. Because the only thoughts on this matter are the ones that the artist is forcing you to see, and the story they are telling you to read. The quality of the drawing isn’t great, and although there is a meaning in this, quite a shocking meaning that I’m sure people can relate to, it isn’t the sort of image that you could imagine being shown in an art gallery somewhere. It would not sit with any master of art anywhere.

Although it seems, and feels, like i am criticising online art. I’m not. I really think this sort of artwork is great. It is important for people to respond to the environment and to really shock people into the issues, or to begin a conversation. But I just think artists need to spend decent time working on an image, working on their ambiguity so that a real discussion can be had, rather than just a forced response.

And I think people need to start seeing the internet’s possibilities in bringing more people to art, and into the discussion.

About Me

I adore and practise Art and Embroidery. I blog about Art, trying to encourage open communication through the creation of Art and discussion about Art.

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Bruno Mars

Last week my girlfriend Delwyn and I flew to Auckland