Wednesday, September 21, 2011

But is it art?

The question of whether fractal art is real art has sometimes, sort-of, come up in my mind, but always was disregarded for "Of course it is!", and then I got back to exploring. But really... It seems to be a bigger issue, worthy perhaps of more than one blogpost. So from now on I'll be looking out for interesting articles/comments about this all over the place, and will post about it here. After a few posts, I'll create a page to add to menu above, as it is a subject worth featuring.

To start with, here is a piece by Mandelwerk called "Mona Lisa Orbittrapped" (See high resolution on Deviant Art)... He adds a comment beneath it in his dA account:

Mona Lisa Orbittrapped by Mandelwerk

The Louvre, the golden year of 2067.

& my 5 cents about finding a masterpiece in a fractal.

Opposite to some critics on the net I have a strong belief that someone some day will find a masterpiece, "Mona Lisa Class", in a fractal.

The reason this has not been done yet is TIME.
Fractal art is a very young art form, which until recently has been using tools corresponding to Leonardo doing his works without the invention of oil color, paintbrushes and canvas.
The discovery of the Mandelbulb, Mandelbox and hybrids of all known 3D fractals really is a major breakthrough, and I am convinced someone will do a real masterpiece with these new artistic tools (Mandelbulb 3D, Mandelbulber, and the like). I just know it by the experience of my own explorations, this is an infinite universe to scrutinize.
It might take a couple of hundred years, but on the other hand, I do not think Leonardo was ever in a hurry.

Besides this, a masterpiece is selected to be one by TIME, not a jury, not a critic, it matures during decades and centuries. And remember none of the old masters did masterpieces only, even if some did many.

In my own gallery on DA I currently show 262 images, 90% of these I consider to be snapshots, made on my journey through numerous hybrid fractals on my search for the masterpieces. :) 
20-40 of these images I consider to be really good images, and a handful (in my own opinion) are artworks that mean something to me, and hopefully to others.
I have yet to do a masterpiece, but as stated earlier, we will not know that until a couple of hundred years have passed…

Until then, just relax and enjoy the ride! :)

(The image above is definitely NOT a masterpiece, I would describe it as a snapshot turned into a statement by the help of Photoshop. )

Mandelbulb 3D, cloudy DOF made in Photoshop using my own photos.
Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci, copyright expired, also added with Photoshop.

I completely agree here. Fractal art, most especially 3D fractal art, is very young and will need time before anyone besides fractal enthusiasts will recognise fractal 'masterpieces'. Or even to be embraced by the artistic community as a respectable form of art on its own. To me, art is about having a point of view. Sometimes points of view are only understood by the rest of humanity a few centuries down the line. Or at least, only after the artist's death. (RIP, Van Gogh). Not really a comforting thought, but there you go... :P

To me, various factors determine whether something is 'art' or not. Most importantly, does it mean anything to anyone? Of course it has to start with the creator, and just that can be enough. But of course the more people it speaks to, the more it can be considered art. Then, there's how much effort was put into it, especially regarding Fractal Art. This is by no means a rule - sometimes something magnificent can be accidently found by throwing in a few random parameters into Mandelbulb 3D, but generally, the more work you put into it, with some sort of expressive intention behind what you're doing, the more it is art, regardless of how many people like or appreciate it. And of course, the more familiar you are with your tools (PSP, M3D, etc), the more successful you're likely to be in creating a work of expression that will make people think, or feel. Same goes for pencil or paintbrush.

Not much of what I've done so far, I consider real artwork. Expressive snapshots are a great description... Snapshots of the scenery while exploring fractal worlds in search of art. But I'm going to leave it up to everyone else to decide which is which :) ...

That's it for this post. Please give your opinions with comments below. And thanks to Mandelwerk for letting me use his dA post!

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