We are truly in the internet age, where just about everything can be found – and we’ve got a ways to go. There is talk of virtual reality, which will see even more of our lives consumed by an intangible place. But have we considered what we would be missing there? Or will it simply not happen due to how much we appreciate what we have in the real world. Read on to see what we think are the reasons art, in particular, is important here and now.
Capturing reality, or not
Art is subjective. It’s a line used over and over but it’s true. It usually applies to an argument of debate on what you are getting from the art piece, but it also is a challenge of intent. Artists can strive for realism and capture a moment in history, like Goya in his depictions of the Spanish Civil War, or abandon realism at various levels, like Picasso, Munch, Dali, and Van Gogh. Memory versus interpretation.
Physical art is an important step in achieving that memory or interpretation. Even if you are a digital artist, chances are you are laying down the fundamentals with the timeless scrapbook and pencil. And for the sake of decoration, or even simply the idea of getting the full blow of the artwork, it needs to be physically displayed. There is simply too much to convey in a 6-inch mobile screen.
Of course, art that depicts reality or absurdity can then be shared online, but there’s simply something far more jolting about seeing Rembrandt’s Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild in Amsterdam for yourself and seeing all these men from another century staring at you as if you just interrupted a secret.
Using every sense
As much as we digitise everything, the more we yearn for things that digital alternatives cannot offer us.
For example, as the first Kindles hit the shelves, or feeds, suddenly everyone was missing the smell of books, and a lot of book-themed candles started hitting the actual shelves. Since then, the bookstores still haven’t shut down, as expected, in fact, they’re thriving.
And it’s not just books. A lot of artists are making a name for themselves on social media, gathering swathes of fans, but they are still working for commissions, on canvas, for someone to hang on their wall. As far as decorating goes, some of the latest trends involve decorating your dorm or room with polaroids, a format of photo that is small, fades in time and is expensive today, but there’s some reason we all want to hold our memories in our hands, rather than collect them in our phone.
A good way to do this is to create your own online photo books, which take photos from your social media accounts and put them together in an album for you to share in person.
Physical art in all forms has a great way of bringing people together. The main two that come to mind here are movies and music. Even with Fortnite trying to hire massive popstars to play in a virtual world, there will be no end to the physical gig, where fans come together to dance and sing in an atmosphere that cannot be replicated.
Closer to home, we have movie nights, be that with a partner or a group of friends. At the height of the fever that was being a Game of Thrones fan, there were viewing parties taking place all over the western world to enjoy as a group.