• Rolin

Technology & Art

Technology and art.

The question I have for everyone this week is whether technology is an overall benefit to the artist and the artistic effort or a detriment and distraction? Should artists preserve and exemplify the practices of the ageless masters or should they push the boundaries of their art and the techniques that are in use?

Perhaps a reflection on the most famous painting of all time, the Mona Lisa, would shed some light on why I believe technology and art are inexorably entwined. When Leonardo DaVinci painted this masterpiece in1503 he used paints and techniques that were evolutionary and technologically innovative for the times. Leonardo used a technique called “sfumato” which was a unique method that layered paint onto the canvas. In the case of the Mona Lisa he used as many as 40 layers of paint. In addition, Leonardo used groundbreaking pigments like manganese oxides that were little used at the time.

Experimentation is as necessary in artistic endeavors as it is in science. Leonardo’s notebooks contain pages and pages of trial and error for his paintings, sculptures and machines. He never stopped pushing the boundaries of his art and the techniques used to create it. This is the way of all great artists and scientists.

In all fields, innovation will decide the future. Today’s leaders are able to hold onto what has worked in the past and are also able to peer into the mists of tomorrow, grasping the tendrils of what will be.

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