Commentary: We are experiencing a new Renaissance. Here is why.

Feb 07, 2017

By Daria Pletneva, Creative Director, ARTI.NYC

They say the history is cyclic. Apparently, the history of art too.

Today's "contemporary" is so much different from "post-war contemporary," and it is becoming harder to explain what period are you referring to. Isn't it time for the new term? "Modern" correlates to the pre-war 20th century period even tough the word itself means nothing but up-to-date, yet "contemporary" term applies to an increasingly large span of time since WWII. The name we use at the gallery for our convenience for today's art is "UX art," where UX stands for User Experience. So why is UX art is the new Renaissance?

The first characteristic of the bright end of the Medieval age is the inseparable connection of art with flourishing science which is we see occurring again anew in 2017. Artists embrace the newest technologies creating immersive art experiences across the digital platforms, using the digital tools. In the contemporary period directly after WWII, art aspired to simplicity. However, today's art could not be more complicated: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 3D. It takes a lot of scientific knowledge and skills to design not just the artwork but the whole interactive experience. "Your five-year-old son could have done this" does not apply anymore. In the Renaissance, this scientific approach brought to the canvas an anatomical accuracy of live figures and brand new topics also emerged, caused by the revelation of some important philosophical texts previously unknown. Today's contemporary scientific knowledge concerns computer programming and IT. It is hard to question UX artists' legitimacy like it was during the never-ending pop-art period.

One more attribute of the Renaissance art is linear perspective. The artists mastered the rules of perspective to achieve the documentary and photographic likeness of their subjects on a canvas. Today's artists rethink the perspective dramatically; we no longer need to stick to a canvas. For instance, they represent a series of works in Augmented Reality. The "canvases" come with the specially designed iOS application, which recognizes the objects on the paintings and animate them in 3D while you are looking through the mobile screen. The animals walk away onto the gallery wall; all the moving objects make an impression that you can actually touch each of them separately from one another. At the same time, virtual reality does not make the art look real, but it tends to make you forget what reality is. In fact, the discovery of perspective six hundred years ago led to the development of the cross-genre virtual reality techniques so popular today.

Also, it was the artists of Renaissance who started using a high contrast between light and dark to give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. So basically Michelangelo and Donatello created the first prototype of modern 3D.

And finally, while we are talking about how today's art making has similarities to that of the Renaissance, consider this: circa 1514, Nicolaus Copernicus first introduced his theory that the Earth spins around the Sun rather than Sun around the Earth. In 2016 Elon Musk first submitted his conjecture that the whole World is the matrix and there is no evidence of the opposite. Both men are challenging the status quo's conception of the structure of the Universe

As a part of the global matrix, the art world is in the avant-garde of user experience. Art business meanwhile momentarily apply the newest trends into our business routine. The leading galleries have been in the process of convergence over the past few years, building their presence online. Popular art platforms like Saatchi Art, Artsy and Paddle 8 and dozens more have grown the habit of discovering and buying art online. But there are still some untilled fields left for the art market.

At the beginning of 2017 ARTI.NYC became the first full-service gallery on Apple TV. While the art market has previously succeeded in adopting e-commerce, online auctions, Instagram, and app store, an art streaming channel on Apple TV is a brand new experience. Our gallery Apple TV experience was designed for entertainment, creating beautiful artistic atmosphere and vibrant backgrounds as much as for marketing the original art to collectors. The art channel is free for streaming and is being updated with new images on a monthly basis, which makes it a unique solution for interiors all over the globe. Moreover, the users can get artworks’ information with one click and make a purchase both through the Apple TV and online. We are happy to experiment with what the UX Renaissance bring us.

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