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In A World Of Mass Production, Limited Edition Art Still Has A Place On Your Walls.

I use my wits, my eyes, my brain, my life to extract something that rings true and then express it on the smooth, flat plane of fine art media.   A piece of paper, or a measure of canvas and even an OLED vid screen all serve as a platform upon which the artist creates in slow motion.

Media Arts is the descriptor for the combination of skills and vision in photography, moving images, graphics, music, and sonic excellence as a creative platform in the 21st century.  Crafted music and insane attention to little details are now the new normal because High Definition is with us to stay.  The contemporary digital artist must bridge the divide between dreamer and engineer.

It is a world of mass production, industrial extravagance.  Avatar, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, King Kong,  2012, Star Trek,  The Incredibles and The Matrix all spring from the new world that can take an army of creative people working with a vast array of computers and realize visions only authors could conjure in the mind just decades ago.  Today’s Harry Potter imagery is a masterful piece of visual creation.  And that’s really what the movies have always been. a Masterful Piece of Visual (and Auditory) Creation.This is the art form that I pursue, this ability to pre-visualize a scene that moves me and bring it to life with the tools that seem natural in my hands.

In this world I join others who are traveling a new path.  We use new software, graphics tablets, cameras, digital brushes and pigments, laser printers and Blu-Ray disc burners.  Artists who see sights in perspectives never before available.  Whether in microscopic detail or high in Earth’s orbit, these visionaries construct worlds that can then be navigated with virtual cameras, lit with virtual lights, and rendered onto photographic paper or DVD’s for their eventual presentation.

Whether I’m using a straight forward power tool like Adobe Photoshop with it’s “747 different knobs” or a 3 dimensional modeling program like Cinema 4D to sculpt a world, a place, a thing, a vision…   These tools let me “render” the images with lighting and fog and water and reflection in tantalizing colors.  As a visual person I could not resist the call of the new medium.  It was literally impossible to create the movie Jurassic Park a mere 21 years ago.  The technology simply did not exist.

There are hundreds of digital imaging tools now available.  And like the old adage in photography, that it “Doesn’t Matter How Many Lenses You Own, You Can Only Use One At A Time.” Our tools support our visions.  Tools help realize the spark.  Tools don’t create anything.  Only a mind and heart can do that… when mixed with enough time, talent, and patience.

My mentor and former college Art professor, James Crane, once told me: “Non artists think that the formed image is in your head and you simply have the tools and skills to make it visible to others. I doubt that. Your ‘idea’ is general, nameable, but no more than that.  So much of the excitement and satisfaction comes from involvement with the medium as the image forms, becomes concrete and suddenly there before you is something that hasn’t been before and you midwifed it into being!  Yes, Life is short and meaning is somewhat evasive.  You sense that and a flow of images comes from you that have the feel of permanence, Eternal.”

In a Mass Production World – where the bar has been stretched if not raised – and the digital canvas has vastly extended the reach our hands and eyes can travel,  there is still a place for the singular image that moves us.   We can twist a leaf on a tree or paint waves in the water. We create the image as we always have, but the tools expand our reach as the artist grows.  Life is Short.  Art is Eternal.

-Robert Barnes  2012


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