Art has always been a vital tool for change and communication – even more so now that lockdowns have been set in place. With great thanks to virtual tools, it has become even simpler to share art and have it reach audiences across the globe. The World Economic Forum writes how artists today are channeling their creativity further in coming up with new ways to make statements and put themselves out there. There are more online exhibits, virtual diaries, bespoke merchandise, and the like. Digital art may not be a new concept, as trailblazing digital artist Harold Cohen used a program called AARON in the early eighties, but it is constantly being reinvented. Since then, numerous other digital tools have evolved and are now within reach for artists of all skill levels. In the midst of a pandemic, we can see how these innovations are extremely powerful.
Up close and personal
Established artists and even art institutions have turned to the digital sphere for patrons to continue accessing their exhibits. London’s famous Tate Modern and Amsterdam’s Rijkmuseum, as well as several other global museums are now available for viewing online. Right now, this is is the best possible solution – and although it is not a physical walkthrough, visitors can get up close and personal with famous paintings and artworks made by some of the greats. Some offerings also have supplementary subtitles, commentaries, and videos for a better grasp on history.
While classic artwork gets its spotlight, emerging artists are likewise gaining momentum during the lockdown. Artist Cheryl Jones claims that art was once a hobby for her, that later on turned into a full-time endeavor. She also believes that art has a significant impact on communities, as this creative medium opens up discourse, bridges gaps between people, and offers new perspectives.
Dodo Flugge, who is otherwise known as Diedododa, is an artist who is also interested in interior design. During the lockdown, she has expressed her interest in blending technology with her art, and has experimented with both over the months. Dodo has been documenting her journey on her website and social media pages. She has even pivoted towards making face masks with her signature designs. Through this initiative, fans can at least get a tangible art item that is suitable for these uncertain times.
An opportunity for memorialisation
A number of artists are also taking the pandemic as an opportunity to memorialise this moment in time through their art. White Cube has rounded up a number of artists on their gallery’s Instagram account to contribute virtual art diaries. This is meant to give audiences insight into the quiet worlds of these artists, hopefully serving as a source of inspiration and needed refuge during this global crisis. People worldwide are grappling with feelings of isolation, and digital art – whether created by amateurs, aspiring artists, or established legends, can help evoke unspoken feelings and serve as a powerful medium of communication when words fall short.
Written by Anne Sebastian Cheney Exclusive for scottishdesignexchange.com