Imagine what Dali would have been able to accomplish with Photoshop

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by Videbaek, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Videbaek

    Videbaek Member

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    Yes, Photoshop is about the digital, dark side and this isn't about photography at all actually but the following made me split a gut and applies
    to so many things these days.

    (One shouldn't be cruel, one really shouldn't. People must be allowed to draw their inspiration as they see fit. And yet...)

    From the pages of Advanced Photoshop, the magazine for Adobe Photoshop professionals, their section called "peer pressure -- our pick of the best reader submissions sent to us this month":

    The winner's quotation: "I would say my style is surreal/fantasy-based with a touch of sci-fi here and there. I absolutely adore the work of M C Escher and Salvador Dali. Who knows what they would have been capable of creating, should they have had Photoshop at their disposal"

    Unfortunately, the execrable winning picture does not allow for any irony in the above.
     
  2. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Maybe it's better for we APUG-ers to go our own way and leave off worrying about what goes on in the digital sphere. Isn't that what we here really want--to be left alone by the digerati? As you say, "people must be allowed to draw their inspiration as they see fit...."

    There is so much execrable photography in the world--in both genres--that to make note of it all would leave us with no time for our own pursuits. To toss gratuitous rocks at the digital folk strikes me as evidence of fear--not what a confident group of enthusiasts does as it pursues its passion.

    Just my two-cents' worth.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Isn't this an analog forum.

    We imagine using film & wet processes, there were plenty of Surrealist photographers around when Dali was at his best. Go and look at their work.

    Ian
     
  4. Videbaek

    Videbaek Member

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    Er... I didn't draw attention to this as a pot-shot at the digital world of picture-making. What I was drawing attention to is the astonishing lack of curiosity and imagination. Whatever. It really does not matter.
     
  5. arigram

    arigram Member

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    If Photoshop existed in the time of Dali then Dali wouldn't have existed.
     
  6. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Nothing would change.

    He'd get a wacom tablet and just be able to paint faster... and then he'd give up on color management and trying to print it the way he saw it and go back to paints.
     
  7. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    What would be different is that you'd look at his stuff, roll your eyes and think "I know where the filters are in photoshop too, big deal" and that would be that.
     
  8. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    I really don't believe I'd be thinking that. Maybe if I had a head injury, but it's not quite probable.

    The only difference between digital painting and oil is that it takes a "ctrl+Z" to undo your last stroke. With oil you have to scrape it off, but in the end it's the same thing.
     
  9. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Well, so what? Maybe they would have created masterpieces with PS, but who gives a hoot? They are all dead now, and were so much longer before photoshop.
     
  10. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I seem to recall seeing quite a number of passable Dali pastiches done with DI, but I think the tool of choice for this would Quantel Paintbox rather than Photoshop. I imagine Dali would have been drawn to this way of working if it had been open to him - after all, he proved with his speed-signing technique for blank engraving paper that he appreciated a fast way to make a buck. I forget who it was that created an anagram of his name in Spanish as "Avida dollars" (greedy for dollars).

    P.S.: The quote is from André Breton, the "Pope of Surrealism".
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    jim

    people already say that when they see a photograph, but when they try
    to reproduce something that was made on film or paper, they soon
    realize that even with the same film, camera and notes the photographer
    "gave up" in the magazine or forum or where-ever ( velveeta, 1/250S f22 &C )
    they still can't make the same print or expose film (or sen$or ) the same way.
    :smile:

    :smile:

    you are EXACTLY right
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think he'd be working in PS for starters, even if he had been able to choose to work electronically.

    I doubt very much that he would be working with a computer for art (who knows for sure?) There were many other processes that were available during his life, including photography, yet he did what he did. Even though he worked with Philippe Halsman to produce some very cool photographs, and had allot of exposure to the process through that experience, evidenced by the intricacies of that work, he stuck to his brushes.

    Most painters still paint with a brush. I think that those means satisfy the artistic urges in tangible tactile ways that a computer screen can't. Most artistic persons are into the artifact and the way it communicates content, but more so in the creation of a physical thing that exists as we do. I think that's why there is no substitute for the real photographic print or the painting, and never really will be, among those who truly appreciate art.

    I've been thinking about it, and without everybody thinking I've gone all Shirley Mclaine, I believe that artistic artifacts convey the energy and light that the artist sent forth. For some reason I think a digital intermediary or display short circuits that. So do Sputz prints.

    I had seen Vincent Van Gogh in books and reproductions all of my life, and liked his work. I thought I knew all about it. When I saw the real paintings, they knocked me down. I could feel the presence of the man. I'll never be the same about that artist, and I will always know the difference.

    I don't think an artist like Dali would have given that up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2008
  13. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    That's so very wrong. It is not the same thing. Maybe it would feel similar if they had a rough canvas surface on the Wacom that yielded to pressure (not the slippery slick "pressure sensitivity" they build in) and if that tablet somehow exuded a substance with viscosity and olfactory stimulants. A stylus stroked across a digital tablet is nothing like true painting, either in execution or result.

    In fact, I would suggest that "digital painting" is further away from its parent than is "digital photography."

    Sitting at a desk marking a Wacom tablet to make "brushstrokes" on a digital image file in a software program like "Painter" is more akin to sitting at a desk marking a Wacom tablet to make corrections on a digital image file in a software program like "Photoshop."

    Getting out of the chair and using your whole body to drum paint into a canvas is totally different experience.

    A "digital painting" also lacks facture and that is one of the hallmarks of Painting.

    For a good read try James Elkins' "What Painting Is"

    Joe
     
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  15. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    That book is an attempt to romanticize the medium. Painting is not alchemy, unlike the opening paragraph states, and painting was perfected only because it was profitable a couple centuries ago either for a church or the monarchy.

    Olfactory stimulants have little to do with it - that is the experience of the artist and artist only. It has no effect on the viewer.

    If experience of the artist at the time of creation had an effect on the viewer, the greatest artist would emerge who'd sandpaint with cocaine powder and the viewers would be ecstatic because the artist pushed off in the process. It doesn't work like that, unfortunately.

    Dali's choice of medium is not his accomplishment. It is the message and the influence on the viewer that counts. Deliver the message, conceal the artist?

    If Dali had chosen to paint watercolor, he'd have less texture... the pictures would still convey the message.
     
  16. cole

    cole Member

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    As a artist you may ask yourself

    Am I making my art or are my tools? Everytime you load a program in to your computer you have to agree to a copyright contract . The question is, would Dali agree ?
     
  17. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    While there is a point here, we're back to the old content illusion. The choice of medium isn't the accomplishment, I agree, but neither is it irrelevant. The choice of medium contributes directly to the perception of the work. Artists are free to choose their mediums, and the tools within them. The continued attempts to homogenize medium and methods as immaterial to the artifact to validate certain workflows simply points up the immaturity of certain mediums.
     
  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Geez - but isn't this all a bit too smug?

    You know, conjecturing what particular media an artist, if displaced in time, would use?

    Figure it this way:

    "Imagine what Rembrandt would have been able to accomplish with Analog Photography"

    :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2008
  19. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Amusing - I took Jim's statement the other way (ie, we'd be foolishly closed-minded and discount him immediately). Guess you could read it either way.
     
  20. DanielOB

    DanielOB Member

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    If you think SALVADOR Dali, he was a painter not Photoshoper. Agree?
     
  21. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I think Dali did just fine with what he had available. Can anyone name a famous Photoshop artist? Anyone?

    Patrick
     
  22. PBrooks

    PBrooks Member

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    John Paul Caponigro

    "The only difference between digital painting and oil is that it takes a "ctrl+Z" to undo your last stroke. With oil you have to scrape it off, but in the end it's the same thing."

    No it's not
     
  23. RobC

    RobC Member

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    If I'm not mistaken Dali did more without photoshop than anyone with photoshop has or is ever likely to in the future....
     
  24. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Every time I install a program on my computer the agreement states that I can do whatever I want with it, and modify it to suit my needs, and give it away for free to others, including mods. It also states that if I improve the program, I have to give the improvements back to the development project to distribute to everyone else who uses it, for free.

    Lee
     
  25. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    At the time Quantel Paintbox came out, I seem to recall seeing many quite convincing Dali pastiches. It soon became a "So what?" - it was widely known that these effects were possible, so using them was no big deal.
     
  26. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    You have to die first to become famous. Give em time. :wink: