Barnaby Furnas' Paintings Show How Robots Can Transform Art

American painter Barnaby Furnas’ Frontier Ballads Art Show in New York bears testimony to how digital technology is transforming the world of visual arts.

artmatr
Original pictures: Artmatr

The first two weeks of March have borne testimony to how technology and digitalisation are transforming the world of visual arts, through an exhibition by former graffiti artist Barnaby Furnas held at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. In his seventh solo show, the American painter displayed paintings that question deep-rooted American mythologies. But what made the exhibition unique is the method he employed to make his artworks. The vivid artworks were developed with the support of Artmatr, a start-up of MIT Media Lab, which is working with new generation artists to design creative technologies that can adapt an artist’s technique, patterns and strokes.

Furnas’ artworks are a mix of figuration and abstraction, consisting of lines, shapes and kaleidoscopic elements. The software and hardware developed at Artmatr have adapted Furnas’ techniques of needling, paint-pouring, spraying and mirroring, reflection and movement in art, enabling him to concentrate on making digital prints more meticulously. The artworks on display are real prints made by him, using his signature art techniques on computer. This tailor-made painting method has helped the artist to leap beyond the human hand while keeping his original sense of aesthetics intact. The technology is, in essence, much like a preservation process because the methods of creation of these artworks are also preserved in the archival memory of the system.

The future of digital art will see more such uses of personal strokes in computers, and it’s already here!

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