Monday, May 4, 2009

Your Mom Goes to Art School: Is deviantART the new BFA?

Do you suppose that there have always been so many artists out there making work and that the internet just allows us to see them? It seems to me that the last few years, particularly with the launch of websites like deviantART, that more people are making art without having studied it.  DeviantART in particular seems to be the place to be for young artists with little or no formal education. It's always a fun site to browse, full of teenage angst pictures and 'Twilight' paintings mixed in with more conventionally 'good' paintings. The piece above, "The Local" by Artistwilder, is a pretty "good" painting: nice colors, correct perspectives, successful composition, and good drawing--certainly the kind of painting that you'd see made by someone with some formal art education.

Spending time on deviantART always leaves me with mixed feelings. While it's a great option for young people to post their offerings to the art gods and get some feedback, it seems unfortunate that such sites may be replacing more formal and traditional art schooling. DeviantART is both democratizing and lowering standards; now everyone can display work in a global forum, but can one really get quality education, critique, and exposure online? Yeah, yeah, I get the irony here--I'm writing this on an art blog, blah blah blah. Regardless of where this whole internet-as-art-school thing takes us, I will be interested to see if in 20, 50, 100 years from now, artists of international fame will say that they got their education from sites like deviant.

For more art by Artistwilder scope this:

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