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Hello, I'm new. I have been dabbling in art since high school...I'm in my early 30's now. I studied graphic design for two years in college and then realized that I hated the "structure". But it was in college I learned of a simple technique called posterization.

A few years ago I started painting grayscale portraits using the technique. A friend of mine that also studied graphic design tried to debate with me that it wasn't really art and was almost a "cheat". I like the minimalist approach to getting a realistic image, as well as the speed in which I can knock out a painting. I like immediate results and lose interest in projects that drag out.

So I ask you, is this technique really art? Am I cheapening the craft of painting?
 

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Hello, I'm new. I have been dabbling in art since high school...I'm in my early 30's now. I studied graphic design for two years in college and then realized that I hated the "structure". But it was in college I learned of a simple technique called posterization.

A few years ago I started painting grayscale portraits using the technique. A friend of mine that also studied graphic design tried to debate with me that it wasn't really art and was almost a "cheat". I like the minimalist approach to getting a realistic image, as well as the speed in which I can knock out a painting. I like immediate results and lose interest in projects that drag out.

So I ask you, is this technique really art? Am I cheapening the craft of painting?
This isn't an easy one to answer subjectively. If we step away from art and onto automobiles, maybe we could work out an answer.
Here goes: The first automobiles had manual transmissions and hand brakes. Years later, foot applied breaks became the norm, and after that so did automatic transmissions. The automobile remained an automobile, right? And they didn't get cheapened, just became different.
Next, let's move on to B&W photography. Before photography everything was created by hand, pen and ink, or some such. Soon as photographic film became available, all one had to do was to pick up a camera insert a piece or roll of film, and snap a photograph- later to be developed. Next came digital cameras, and I ask: does the digitalized result remain photography? I think it does.
Of course we insert digital art, Photoshop for short into the realm of artistic endeavors. The Photoshop program has many filters, one called "Posterize". With one click of the mouse, bingo, any digital image changes and it looks like what we used to describe in art class as a "Notan". Various degrees of posterization (notan) can be accomplished to where images have no value scale at all.
BIG QUESTION: does this Photoshop tool cheapen the end result relative to brush application of paint onto a canvas??? Is it art? Is it a mechanical process placed under the control of a computer non-artist operator?
My deduction is similar to that of asking if a writer is a poet, or could this be someone who writes poetically? There is a big difference. Is someone who manipulates computer programs an artist? In the pure sense, certainly not. There are artistic principals involved with being an artist (a painter), just like someone who writes a discussion using this forum isn't a poet. So, if posterization, a simple Photoshop filter, is used by (((get ready for it))) an artist, does that artist negate themselves as an artist. No, however; the process that person uses to create said art item tends to decrease let's say, the FLAVOR of the pudding as we now understand it.
One additional question must be asked: Is a banana peal duct taped to a wall become art? (I think it's a slap in the face of us critics who go wildly into the use of fancy words to describe what art is and what it isn't. Possibly a banana taped to a wall is just as much art as is a posterized image.
 

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