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Will Servin takes the edge off New York City, and puts it where it can be seen as well as felt, in his digital interpretations of New York.
But not all his images are hard-edged.
He shows the New York that only imagination knows: soft, where it can be soft, as in his bucolic impressions of Central Park, hard where it needs to be hard as in his needle-sharp shots of the classic, iconographic skyline.
His treatment even adds bulk to the massive pyramid of the Chrysler Building and his winter scenes of traffic and city lights are far from pedestrian.
One image of the Statue of Liberty soars with the eagle-eyed view, and his series of the same is not only eye-catching in its kaleidoscope of color, but aesthetically pleasing.
His montages capture the homespun texture of the crazy quilt of a city.
He even juxtaposes the oven-brick of Soho tenements, where he displays his work, with the Twin Towers trim modernity in a perfect marriage of architectural precision, and artistic balance.
All in all, his collection is pleasing, eye-popping and instructive.
The New Creativity
At the beginning of a new millenium, as an artist I ask what creative medium is the newest? Obviously it is the computer. Now, is the computer valid as a creative tool, given the fact that our artistic traditions are already well established?
The human mind has a tendency to distrust the things that it does not understand, that it does not like, or that it just does not want to accept.
We find ourselves too attached to our routines, and as artists we have established patterns of usage that block our knowledge of the possibility of learning new techniques.
Anything that is beyond these patterns, beyond this wall that limits us, we relegate to a state of the unwanted, making it subject to blind opposition.
We accept every day the fear of machines, and it can be said there's an instinctive reluctance to accept the unknown or the new. The more natural something may seem, the more it is trustworthy. We accept the ties to old customs and the strong opposition to evolving.
The majority of people find it difficult to accept the fair balance between nature and technology, in our everyday living. There will always be a mistrust of technology. This state of mind is common in everyday situations like boarding an airplane or being present in a hospital. We somehow get nervous when having to trust in modern technology. We rarely accept technology as an ally without some fears and when we have to accept it, mistrust of machines persists.
Some people are so attached to their own preferences, that they are not capable of considering alternative to this personal taste in art.
Let us imagine a person who says he doesn't like piano music. Those of us who can enjoy all music know what great creations he would be missing. Someone who says he doesn't like computer art might be in that same position.
Another important point concerns the use of the hands in creating art. We could say that many individuals see the computer or technology itself as an artificial crutch. It's heroic and romantic to think of an artist, armed only with a brush and some tubes of paint, ready to create a vision of eternal beauty. Using this idea, some would think how a work is created is more important than that concept itself, ignoring the fact that art pours out of the mind and soul. What's really strange is that the method used in conceiving artistically is rarely an argument in other forms of creative work. If a deaf Beethoven could have used a computer and "listened" to his latest symphonies, would we consider his music phony or artificial? Would someone really care if Shakespeare had written his sonnets on the Macintosh computer rather than with ink and a feather? Without a doubt the final product would have been as spectacular, and even the writer might have been grateful for the technological help.
The fact is if the quality of an image and its artistic effect are pleasant to the senses very few people would mind the way in which this image was created. But when it's discovered that a computer was involved in the creative process the point of view changes and the image loses importance in the eyes of the spectator. Suddenly it becomes something artificial and we take it for granted that it lacks the human touch. The artist has cheated by making use of technology. Machines have invaded the sacred temple of art and therefore must be restricted.
Photography had to face the same challenge 150 years ago, on proving its artistic value. The public could not conceive that a machine could possibly represent a creative element, or consider its reproductions as art, whatever the themes depicted. Nowadays photography is widely and formally accepted as art, and unique pieces or limited editions are highly priced. Photography has climbed the high mountain of acceptance. But it has been successful not by asking approval because it can produce art that looks like painting, but by achieving acceptance as an artistic form that is individual, unique, with independent styles and techniques.
While it takes time and patience to allow for the acceptance of differences in personal taste, and while the public adjusts to new ideas about mediums of art, the digital artists must be optimistic. Digital artists need to understand the emotional basis of resistance to this type of creative process that a segment of the public still have. But it is equally important to understand that total acceptance will come when digital artists discover that they're working in a truly new form of art and not taking a different route to produce art in preestablished forms.
When that acceptance has come, computers won't be the invaders of the sacred temples of art, but the builders of a new temple, one that is dedicated to displaying artists with a new way to turn into reality their own visions.
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All of these photographs are digital-watermark protected with the letters TAoW.
The images you will see are low-resolution scans to speed internet loading.
The actual prints are crystal clear with the sharpest detail, without the watermark and handsigned by the artist.