"Self-Portrait as a Painter," December 1887 - February 1888, Oil on canvas, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Arts & Culture Betting Games Lifestyle Visual Arts

Are ‘Conventional Artists’ on the Decline?

Art has been created throughout the centuries for many reasons. Some of the most well-known pieces of art were commissioned while other pieces were created purely for the joy of the artist. Today, we have many forms of art and in addition to drawing, painting, and sculpting, we have digital art. Does the rise of digital art mean we are losing interest in conventional artists and their work?

Various Media

Today, art comes in the form of various media, and these were not always available when the world’s best known painters were at work. Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Cézanne, Gustav Klimt, Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh are all artists most people know but their work was created in an era without digital alternatives. Today, anyone can pick up a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and within a few minutes, create a piece of art. If the work is not satisfactory, it can be undone, without wasting any material. Digital photography, computer art, animation, television, and videogames all fall under the category of ‘art’.

Art in Gaming

If we take gaming as an example, both videogames and boardgames are created using art. Whether it be the design of a card for a boardgame or the creation of an open world for a videogame, they are both considered pieces of artwork. A live casino game will have a backdrop, either digital or created by hand and the cards used in the game have been designed. Using the backdrop of a live casino game as art may seem far-fetched when compared to the paintings of Rembrandt but it is art, nonetheless.

Digital Art vs Conventional Art

By comparing the value of digital and conventional art, we can better asses if conventional artists are on the decline. NFT artworks are the most desirable pieces of digital art and the non-fungible tokens have attracted a lot of money in recent years. Digital artist Mike Winkelmann become one of the top three most valuable living artists when one of his pieces sold for $70 million. Claire “Grimes” Boucher, Mad Dog Jones, and Trevor Jones have all made millions from the sale of digital art, but Winkelmann’s piece was the first to be sold by a historic auction house. However, these numbers still fall short of the most expensive traditional pieces of art. Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold for $450 million in 2017 while Interchange by William de Kooning fetched $300 million in 2015. It is worth noting, none of the paintings currently in the top 20 most expensive traditional paintings sold were created in the 21st century.

There will always be a desire to own art created by Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Cézanne, Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh. That will never change but what is different now is the rise of digital artists. Advances in technology means we have new ways to create art but that does not mean traditional artists are necessarily in decline. Digital and traditional art can survive side by side, with some people preferring canvas and others the computer screen.