Digital art – the dawning

Up until recently, if one was to compare a printed image to an oil painting in order to determine which would hold more value, it would have been a ludicrous argument.

Oil paintings were always traditionally a ”once-off’ piece of art and languished in being unique and original, prints on the other hand were merely giclees or copies of the original that sold at a fraction of the price, allowing a wider target market the opportunity to enjoy the reflection of the masterpiece!


An oil painting is no longer an oil painting, with the advent of the east as a major supplier into the art market, prolifically from the early 2000’s, they have flooded it with mass produced paintings and yes, they are oil paintings done by hands on a 'conveyor style assembly line' or produced in 'sweat shops' and are sold very cheaply, but the truth of the matter is that they are worth the value that they are sold for.

I personally investigated this in depth and placed an order for three oil paintings to be commissioned from one reference picture that I sent them. They duly arrived and each piece was hand painted in oils and identical in almost every sense of the word. What amazed me was the cheap pricing and there is absolutely no way a local artist can compete against this. The quality of paint, canvas and frame build was suspect and I am sure will not stand well to the test of time!

The artwork was built for speed and as a result, the attention to detail was lacking.

To try and compete against the East is futile as they have no minimum wage and the country acts as one massive corporation with a gargantuan subsidy!

The local artist has been slaughtered by the machine from the East and in doing so, the public are being brainwashed into accepting this as ‘art’ where in essence it is the equivalent to muzak and should be treated as such. It might have a place adorning some inconspicuous wall to add a dash of colour but should never be introduced into the personal living space …it is ironical that this muzak art-form from the east should yield such negative feng shui!

The art just lacked soul and the slave labour element made me relate to the art in a 'blood' diamond way, therefore I could not keep the artwork without feeling a strange sense of guilt...I subsequently donated them to an artist who needed canvas to paint on.

The only way to fight this onslaught is to look towards a quicker and more efficient method of producing creative artwork. I have laid down my airbrush and frisket and no longer spend arduous hours cutting masks, I now turn to technology and airbrush with a mouse using various graphic applications (I no longer get splatters over my artwork). This direction has increased my productivity and made my artwork affordable to the discerning buyer, who in these times is very price conscious.

I produce high quality digital artwork that is exclusive and has a higher value than a ‘manufactured’ oil painting.

The digital artwork is carefully catalogued to ensure limited circulation and 'once-off' digital originals are printed using museum grade archival inks on a high quality canvas.

Thank goodness they cannot copy my synaptic thought processes …yet

Mike B Woolfson

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