Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Deviantart: a great site but not a Web-Art site


One of the great sites for art on the Internet is deviantART.com. In operation since 2000, the site provides free access to over 41 million works of art. In comparison the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art which started in 1870 has a collection of just over two million works.

deviantART hosts works that are drawings and paintings either scanned or digital, comics, photography (motion and still). The web site enables artists to display, sell, discuss and comment on a wide variety of styles and media. It's well organized, easy to use and well-loved by its many members - over thirty-five thousand were on when I looked.

On the other hand, there no significant amounts of sculpture or installations - let alone craft works such as furniture or industrial design. In essence deviantART is a repository for static two dimensional graphical works. I have yet to see any work that could be called Web Art. In other words the there are no interactive works. There is no mixing of text, image and sound.

For most people deviantART and the many other on-line art galleries is the sort of thing that comes to mind when when they think of art on the Internet. These web sites and the artists they show are actually promulgating an art that is as old the cave paintings at Lascaux.

Will the new art come in gently and from many sources as did say Abstract Expressionism or will the new art start off with a single work by a single artist such as Cubism and Les Demoisells d'Avignon? Is the work we are seeing from Gerard Ferrandez and Ellen Pronk and many others indicative of the future or will there be another artist that blows us all away with revolutionary work? In either case, deviantART as well as the Metropolitan will have to reinvent them selves to cope with the new works.

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