Artt is cheap....

I’ve been working in cg since 1994… right now I’m doing some portfolio work… and of course am looking at the state of the market…

it seems to me that “technique” is now commonplace. Technical prowess is often put to the fore… often over artistic considerations.

so now what makes something art rather than product?,

I’ve always held the cynical line that all art is “product”… it’s all targeting an audience in a self conscious way if it is to achieve any kind of acclaim…

look at damien hurst, gilbert and george, jeff koons…

I had the pleasure of “working” with Nilo Rodis (* a costume designer who became a producer for john hughes, he designed boba fett, buzz lightyear and the klingon bird of prey fron the star trek movies as well as being production designer on johnny mnemonic though he hates to be reminded of that one…)

He re-defined my understanding of the term “IP”,. to subscribe, IP is NOT about copyright or patents, it is to define something so fully that everything that follows gets compared to it…

people start to define themselves in deference to it…

(It;s like the matrix… meets aliens…) as an example…

I’m not sure what this all means, just it seems to me that a high degree of artistic talent is “globally” pretty commonplace so “marketability” or uniqueness that gives the agents something to sell is the key to success…

you don’t have to be the best, you just have to be unique(ish) and crack some kind of demographic for appeal…

yet still most artists try to emulate other peoples’s work (MYSELF INCLUDED) rather then to innovate …

sorry if this is just a “stream of conscious…” but plesase discuss.

I think it has always beem the case in cgi that it only has to impress superficially and in the short term to be successful or profitable. While you work in an industry the money will go where the profits are. If they had to make it artistic for it to be profitable they would, but it only has to look as if it is good. Technical expertise is taken by an employer as an assurance that the work will get done fast. Add to that the pace of development and the next new thing becomes important as the signifier of quality. Since no one wants to be left behind everyone has to be knowledgeable about the latest and best techniques.

Perhaps a bit outside the remit here but there is a similar thing happening in the US in physics. People feel compelled to study what is hot because it is the only way to get a job. Those who go their own way don’t get hired because they can’t assure the college of a steady stream of grant funding.
(See ‘The Trouble With Physics’ - Lee Smolin)

I think you said it all with the title. While the market is mostly young males 15 - 30 with $100 to spare, who is there to care about art?

???

You might like to check out the work by Polygonist. A couple of other 3D artists whose work I like are Shanina Conway and Rose Moxon. I don’t know if they are making much from selling their work, but they are certainly producing ‘art’ (more or less popular) rather than, say, games or animation. I bought a framed print of one of Shanina’s works recently - I think it has some artistic merit.

Isn’t this the latest version of art vs illustration? I remember photography going thru this discussion 40 years ago. IMO illustration is a picture, art is a vision.