If you’re interested in how technology has changed the world of modern-day art take a look at Ingmar Apinis’ exhibition Googly Corners, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the role of the internet in the lives of artists today.
Far from claiming that manmade art is superior to art made by computers, Ingmar’s work makes use of the gradients, patterns and fake brush strokes typically found in images on the internet. Apinis is fascinated by the role of technology in modern life and only considers modern technology a means for innovation and originality.
Ingmar Apinis opens up on his views of the internet’s newfound role in the lives of artists, and the inspiration behind his art.
HAPPY: How did you get the idea for Googly Corners?
INGMAR: I have been interested in exploring how digital media has influenced art, particularly painting, for a long time now. When I was in art school 15 years ago, lots of people were excited about making photographic and video work using Photoshop and other software. At the same time, I started to make paintings that imitated those effects.
All this time later, the Googly Corners exhibition was a continuation of that idea. I drew inspiration from the ‘vapourwave’ subculture that exists on the internet, where people use photo-editing and design software to make brightly coloured images that feature classical sculptures, grids, patterns and optical effects. There’s a genre of music that goes along with the aesthetic too. I find it amusing how vapourwave appropriates sculptures of ancient mythological figures and places them in an contemporary environment. I really wanted to play around with that idea for this exhibition.
HAPPY: How do you think the internet has influenced contemporary art?
INGMAR: The internet has made it easier for artists to connect with each other to build networks and put on shows. It’s also so easy nowadays to jump on the net and start googling artists to learn about them and see images of their work. There’s no more hunting around libraries or spending money on expensive art books.
There’s also an increasing number of artists making work that examines the influence of the internet on people and society. The internet has and such a huge effect on the world, both good and bad, so it was bound to have a huge impact on the art world too.
HAPPY: Do you think real art is superior to art made by computers?
INGMAR: If you mean, do you think that handmade work is better than work made using computer programs, no not at all. I think it all depends on what the project calls for and what each artist is interested in. Personally I’m really attracted to the process of painting, which is why I continue to work in this medium.
HAPPY: What attracted you to the contemporary genre of art?
INGMAR: I guess anyone who is making art in this century can be considered a ‘contemporary artist’ but I am interested in art that is less traditional because of the way it questions the world around us.
HAPPY: Why do you choose to use mixed media?
INGMAR: I like to create different textures and surfaces in my paintings, it’s exciting to see how they all interact with each other. I often combine acrylic, enamel, spray paint, airbrushing and oil paint. I also mix screen printing techniques with hand painted elements. I think part of the attraction is that I have a short attention span, so I like to mix things up a bit and keep it fresh for myself.
HAPPY: Where are you from?
INGMAR: I am born and bred in Melbourne but my parents were born in Croatia and Latvia. I grew up in the Western Suburbs and studied painting at the Victorian College of the Arts. I now live and work in Melbourne’s inner east.
HAPPY: Why do you choose to focus on the role of computers in art in your artworks?
INGMAR: I find it fascinating how technology is speeding up our lives. The internet in particular means that information spread so fast that it’s hard to keep up. It makes me think of a Radiohead lyric , “Here I’m alive, I’ve got everything all of the time” which is meant ironically because it’s actually overwhelming sometimes to live at this pace, if you know what I mean. So in many ways, painting is about stepping back and slowing everything down, examining what it means to be one of the last generations to remember life before technology and the internet really took over.
HAPPY: What’s up next for you?
I’m starting to put together a new series of work that will be made entirely from images I find in my Tumblr feed. I like the idea of using these random images that end up in my feed and finding connections between them. They will end up in a show next year that I’m excited about.