Home > A closer look > Collector’s Guide: Digital Art
A closer look 11 Feb 2015

Collector's Guide: Digital Art

The NFT boom of 2021 has made digital art an increasingly important part of the contemporary art market. This term refers to artists using digital software as a medium to create art. Artsper invites you to discover this cutting-edge artistic phenomena via its artworks and techniques.

 L’escalier montant, Max Parisot du Lyaumont, 2021

What is digital art?

Digital painting, vector graphics, photo manipulation, animation, 3D modeling … computer-aided art uses a variety of different techniques. It may include, for example, drawing on paper and then scanning and editing the drawing on a computer. Another popular tool is retouching software, to modify pictures after they are taken. Some artists even create 3D characters using a computer. All of these techniques are part of what is known as digital art.

Recently, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), virtual artworks protected by blockchain technology, have gained enormous popularity. These forgery-proof artworks, whose authenticity is assured and protected, have seen a particular buzz following the Christie’s auction of a piece by Beeple in March 2021. While NFTs are often primarily associated with digital art, they are not the most popular artworks within the medium. However, in the context of the exponential interest they have recently experienced, some have raised doubts about the real value of digital works – or even the concept of digital art as such.

Everydays: the First 5 000 Days, Beeple, 2021. Credits: Christie’s

Is digital art really art?

Some feel that digital art is not truly art. When generated by computer, a digital artwork has an infinite number of copies, but no original. However, as it becomes more and more popular, it is becoming more and more recognized as a real form of artistic creation. Creating, even with the assistance of a computer, requires creativity and a thorough knowledge of technology and design. The artist must be able to navigate easily between the worlds of art, science and technology.

Before the camera, the role of the artist was to reproduce the real world. Since then, art’s role and function have changed. With the invention of photography, artists realized that it was no longer as important to illustrate reality. They began to express their imagination in different ways to show the unreal and abstract. The birth of abstract art marked a turning point in the evolution of art.

With the advent of the computer and its use in artistic design, we are witnessing a new important step in the evolution of art. Thanks to technology, the artist can create with an infinite number of possibilities. The way art itself is defined is even changing.

Regarde moi – Reproduction digigraphie, Izabela Lewkowicz, 2021

What does digital art actually look like?

There are many techniques associated with digital art, but it is not always easy to find examples of it. Artsper presents a selection of some of these pieces available on the site.

Hypnotised #4, Evelyn Morgan, 2021

This work is a digital painting printed on art paper; it is part of the series of artworks named “Hypnotized”. Mixture between portrait and abstraction, the artist uses light as well as fascinating lines which break the hyperrealism of the represented face. Here, digital art gives the artist a total creative freedom that allows artists to experiment with their style.

Balloon Bambi (Blue), Paco Raphael, 2020

Another major tool of digital art is the 3D printer, often used to create sculptures. From a 3D model, this tool allows to print successive layers of certain materials, in the example above using resin, in order to form objects. Paco Raphael mixes nature and technology in his work, toeing the border between urban society and nature. Three-dimensional printing allows the artist to create art in varying colors and styles, but always with the same appearance.

Basquiat dans son atelier,  RS Artist, 2018

New techniques and mediums

Digital art has also expanded the possibilities of collaging and montages. easily made from existing images or famous works of art. In the artwork above, the street artist RS Artist uses an existing image of Basquiat to create a new artwork. Surrounded by his artworks, symbols and motifs that evoke the artist, Basquiat seems perfectly at home in this artwork.

Digital art is offering up many new tools and mediums to artists, and has only been in development within the last few years. However, “digital” art does not mean that the artwork is entirely immaterial. Some artists are simply inspired by digital art, like these artists who create artworks on the theme of social network. Whether you are already passionate about NFT, or still a novice of these new techniques, Artsper encourages you to explore its collection of digital artwork!

You may also like…

About Artsper

About Artsper

Founded in 2013, Artsper is an online marketplace for contemporary art. Partnering with 1,800 professional art galleries around the world, it makes discovering and acquiring art accessible to all.

Learn more