Tim's Vermeer - Art & Technology

Saturday, April 12, 2014

John and I went to see the documentary movie, Tim's Vermeer, opening weekend.

The movie produced by Penn & Teller is about a man named, Tim Jenison of NewTek fame, who thinks he's figured out the way the famous Johannes Vermeer created such extraordinary, photo-realistic paintings.

Such as these:

The Milkmaid
Girl With a Pearl Earring

Music Lesson

I don't want to spoil it too much because it really is an interesting movie but one concept that comes up throughout the movie is the idea that technology and art go hand-in-hand.

Some people think that using technology is cheating. It is explained in the movie (and probably your art history classes) that at one time technology was made to help achieve better art.

Should we still be using rocks to draw crudely on cave walls? Are people who paint with oil better artists who use pencil?

I've spent my whole life thinking I wasn't very artistic. My stick figures are squiggly and disproportionate. But when I got in front of a computer and opened up an editing program I felt that I could be an artist.

The shots weren't mine but I was able to help in taking them and creating a story with them.

Now, there are digital artists. Some think that this isn't true art because it's more easily accessible. But you still have to learn it. You still need to practice.

There are some things about art that I don't understand - like what makes this genius


And me a lazy bastard who just doesn't want to make the bed?

Still, I don't think that technology impedes the true essence of art.

In the movie, Tim tries to paint an exact replica of a Vermeer painting using his theory as to how it's accomplished. Even using this "new" technology we see the time and attention he pays to getting the painting exactly right. Whatever the outcome - he's poured his blood, sweat, and tears into this work.

It may sound totally hippy-dippy to say, but I think that if more people went around thinking of themselves as artists, more things in every day life would be prettier all around.

Knit Graffiti (Via)

Beautiful Garbage Trucks (Via)

Horse Bike (Via)

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