5 Representational Painters Reflect on Their Art in a Digital Age

September 16, 2014 4:51 PM

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5 Representational Painters Reflect on Their Art in a Digital Age

As a representational painter with some skills, I often wonder what relevance my art form has in the contemporary world. Everywhere I go I see people more engaged with a virtual world than with their life surroundings, faces gazing into a smartphone screen, mesmerized. I am lucky that this medium is friendly to painters who create images that intrigue, and my paintings include representations of people that psychologically engage the viewer. A minimalist block or a conceptual installation might not fare so well. How odd is it then that thousands of people around this globe would tell you, "I know the work of F. Scott Hess," though they've never seen a single painting of mine in the flesh.

The mainstream conversation about what art might be has long ago moved away from things being done on easels. And so a painter today must not only worry about what a camera or a computer might do but, more importantly, what to do. Without a social 'mission' the painter, typically alone in a studio w...

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