The possibilities of the NeoBaroque are extended further into the realm of the physically impossible (divine) with the development of digital graphics. Although this is achievable with paint, it wasn’t commonly done, possibly because the works in the milieu of their era were already expressing the divine through optical illusion and the merging of mural and sculpture, elevating the message of the glory of God. Now that we are in an era where the artificial can be nearly as real as the real, the capabilities of art to express unreal possibilities are truly limitless, unrestricted by funding from ‘the Church’ to create art.
This artwork has been digitally created for a digital world. There is no intermediary media which brings physicality to the work. It is indigenous to the digital landscape; representations as a physical piece are duplicates of the original digital, not the other way around. It represents the spirit of the evolution of art towards the adoption of a new media, yet simultaneously, the artwork also positions itself as part of the canon of art history through a parallel relationship with Bernini.
Media emancipation and eventual adoption has continued in the case of digital art. Paintings were for commissioned portraits, or the celebration of religious power structures, mostly. Then it was set free with the camera, and impressionism, expressionism and the explosion of infinite possibilities became available to the painter. Photography took significant time to be recognized as art; it had taken on a role which was previously occupied by painting, and was seen as a tool rather than a possibility for creative expression. Traditionalists somehow suggest that ‘real art’ still needed the act of placing paint on a surface with a brush, they even scoffed at air brushes for a time. The arrival of digital tools to create came in a similar pattern to photography, but the recognition of digital work as art arrived more quickly, facing the same challenges as photography in its consideration as ‘real art’. The democratization of access to digital tools, has allowed the freedom of nearly infinite expression to take place among small art studios and mega production shops alike.
But what about the actual image on the screen?
The central figures are representations of a sculpture, L'Estasi di Santa Teresa in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome, a masterpiece by Bernini. The sculpture captures a moment where ‘divinity intrudes on an earthly body’; the arrow held by the angel is representative of divinity. The immediate surroundings of the sculpture are heavily inspired by the architecture of the chapel, but the further the viewer strays from the central figure, the more the work breaks into imaginative possibilities, flowing into the realm of the recently possible within a digital environment. The radiating movement creates a sense that the piercing divinity has caused a change in space and time. The movement of objects not typically thought of as movable, creating a divine expression, as though the art has been made unreal and real simultaneously.
The video is a 1080×1920 x 18 second seamless loop. Its exhibitory intent is to be displayed on a large screen in portrait format.