Today’s modern artists, both amateur and professional, are not just putting pen to paper or paintbrush to canvas. They are making use of the incredible advances in technology to create striking images and sculptures. Just as when Andy Warhol began to use screen printing as a technique in his paintings, we continue to borrow tech from the graphic arts. Artists are now using engineering innovations such as heat presses and 3D printers. This is leading to an exciting and diverse future for modern art.
Rise of the 3D printer
The 3D printer actually came to fruition 40 years ago in the 1980s, and was originally used for rapid prototyping. Increasingly, however, it became an obvious tool for creating unique and individual parts of final products, completely revolutionizing the manufacturing process. The wide range of materials available, including pure metals, alloys and thermoplastics, have meant, that for mixed-media artists and those working in sculpture, 3D printing has been incredibly inspiring. For instance, Ioan Florea, an artist from Romania has been ingeniously using 3D printers to create molds for full scale metal models of vehicles for his art installations.
Technology for texture
From the manufacturing and textiles industry, the heat press has made a leap into the world of art. The simple transferal of heat for bonding items together means that entirely unique fabrics and textures can be created. These are a far cry from the iron-on tacky motifs that we use to adorn t-shirts and bags. A standard heat press can also be used to apply materials directly onto canvas creating breathtaking results, such as Memento Mori by Mandy Patullo.
Moving to Augmented Reality
For many, the idea of Augmented Reality means searching the streets for Pokemon, or casting spells on their phones in Wizard’s Unite. However AR technology has spilled over into the art world. Let us take for instance “Frenchising the Mona Lisa” by Amir Bardaran. Viewers can visit the Louvre, and using the smartphone app, reveal the Mona Lisa painting through AR, wearing a French Flag wrapped around her head in the style of a banned hijab headscarf. Artists are using AR to make us look at the world a different way – and it is extremely effective.
Art and evolving technologies are intertwining in a very exciting way. The galleries are spilling out onto the streets, and the future is so much bigger than paint on a canvas.