Why Augmented Reality Art isn’t ‘New’

Updated: 7 days ago

A new medium in the art world is emerging, you can’t exactly buy it at your local art stores. This medium has the power to be invisible, altered, and alive. Artists have harnessed ways in which they can use technology to enhance their artworks. Augmented reality artwork is the process in which an artist can superimpose digital imagery onto an already existing physical artwork. When one describes this to someone that may not be up to date on tech news, they may think it sounds very futuristic. While yes, digital projections and animated overlays will really take your breath away, it is not as crazy of a concept as one may think.

Over a hundred years ago, the concept of mixing mediums and stitching together an art piece was already in the works. In 1912 Pablo Picasso and his contemporary Georges Braque shared a liking for the newly discovered ‘papier collé’, meaning pasted paper. These two artists were already experimenting with cubism and disfiguring the form. The goal was to make art appear tactile. The discovery of ‘papier collé’, jumpstarted their idea of making artwork that is not flat.

From this point on collage art took off with the rest of the futurist, Dada, and Surrealist artists of the early 1900s. In the 1940s Matisse starts creating his famous brightly colored paper cut-outs. Again, superimposing images onto a platform. These artists had similar thoughts on what collaging did for their artwork. Some said it added breath, abstraction, freedom and dimension to their work. Overall, it added new life.

Fast forward to the 2020, we see these same intentions of adding new life to artwork through augmented reality artwork. The collage of artwork now creates a total sensory experience. Adding elements of sound, smells, touch, and a new plane of virtual reality. With the technology of the present artists are using augmented reality in the same form of collage. Both types of artists, although 100 years apart, have the same goal of creating something with new life and breath.

Augmented reality may seem straight out of a sci-fi movie for some, but in reality the intentions are still the same. So don’t be intimidated, enjoy how new technology can add life to a painting just like the discovery of oil paint did in the 1500s!

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