The Evolution of Art
Creation is a central component of human existence, as proven by our history. The first instance of human creation in visual art form is thought to be a 500,000 year old fossilized mussel shell engraved with an abstract zig zag by our Homo Erectus ancestors. A few thousands years to the future, and our species was using pigments from rocks and clay to immortalize our stories in caves.
Visual art has been a crucial form of communication since the dawn of our species, consequently accompanying us throughout our evolutionary journey, evolving and advancing alongside us. As we venture into the digital age, it is no surprise that the art we create and consume has taken a technological turn — utilizing the same technologies that is pushing humanity into the future.
The immersive virtual reality artwork of Russian-French artist Anna Zhilyaeva is a prime example of how far visual art has come. Zhilyaeva utilizes VR technology to push the painting medium past its limits. Her creations are much more than paintings after all…They are complete visual experiences, painted sculptures that immerse the viewer not only into the subject matter and message of the artwork, but also the process of getting there.
Volumism: A New Medium
I wanted to build a bridge between two realities. My idea was to create painting-sculptures. Now it seems evident, but it was challenging at the beginning to create the illusion of a classical painting, like a multitude of paintings from different angles brought together. I called it ‘Volumism’.
Inspired by her extensive background in classical fine art and new exposures to virtual reality technology, Zhilayeava sought to build a bridge between the two disciplines, essentially creating her own medium in the process: “Volumism” is a new form of painting, pioneered by Zhilayeava, which uses VR technology to utilize volume and space to create 3D sculpted paintings which go far beyond the physical limitations of classic 2D painting. Despite it’s technological origins, Zhilayeava’s volumism is still heavily influenced by classical technique —
Four years ago, when I started to experiment with virtual reality, I noticed that a certain amount of strokes could give the aspect of oil painting.
The painted sculptures created by Zhilyaev intentionally blend characteristics of classical fine art techniques such as oil painting with the capabilities presented by VR. This technique allows Zhilyaeva to take her story telling to the next level, literally bringing viewers into the artwork. Unlike conventional visual art mediums, with VR volumism the creation process weighs as heavily as the finished product, if not even more so.
I try to involve the spectators in my work: I become a part of my painting; my painting becomes a part of the…
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