You still don't know what Digital Art is? 2019 is the year of Digital Art, and now it's time for you to know what it is!

What Is Digital Art

Some artists use materials like paints and brushes to create art. Today, many others also use modern means of exploring creativity, like video technology, television, and computers. This type of art is called digital art.

Digital art is work made with digital technology or presented on digital technology. This includes images done completely on computer or hand-drawn images scanned into a computer and finished using a software program like Adobe Illustrator. Digital art can also involve animation and 3D virtual sculpture renderings as well as projects that combine several technologies. Some digital art involves manipulation of video images.

The term 'digital art' was first used in the 1980s in connection to an early computer painting program. (This was long before they were called apps, mind you!) It's a method of art-making that lends itself to a multimedia format because it can potentially be viewed in many ways, including on TV and the Internet, on computers, and on multiple social media platforms. In short, digital art is a sort of merger between art and technology. It allows many new ways to make art.

Beginnings of Digital Art

Digital art couldn't really exist without computers. Those machines so familiar to us today got their start in the 1940s, when the first true computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or the ENIAC, was created for military purposes. Artists first began exploring the possibilities of art from computers and related technologies in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Early experiments with computer art came around 1965. German artist Frieder Nake (1938 - present), who also happened to be a mathematician, created a computer algorithm that enabled the machine to draw a series of shapes to make artwork. An algorithm, by the way, is a programmed list of instructions that tells a computer what to do. The resulting computer-generated drawings were some of the earliest examples of art done on a computer.

One of the first truly digital works of art was created in 1967 by Americans Kenneth Knowlton (1931 - present) and Leon Harmon (1922 - 1982). They took a photograph of a nude woman and changed it into a picture composed of computer pixels, titled Computer Nude (Studies in Perception I). A pixel is one small element of an image; when many pixels are combined, they can create a larger, complete image. This nude was one of the first digital artworks.

Digital painting

Digital painting appeared in the 1990s and embrace traditional painting techniques like watercolors, oil painting, and impastos. While the artist develops a graphical design with the use of a computer, tablet or stiletto, the process itself is similar to painting with traditional materials and result in painterly aesthetics. Digital paintings also share features that are specific to computer art visuals like the repetition and distortion of elements and can result in abstract imagery. The last year has also seen the rise of 3D painting entailed to the use of virtual reality with Google’s app Tilt Brush and its artists in residence. Our first gallery Laffy Maffei specializes in this segment with the promotion of artists like Andrej Ujhazy, and Alexandra Gorczynski.

Digital installations

Digital installations closely relate to the sculptures for their 3D nature but offer a new typology in their relation to the viewer. Mostly, this type of artworks can be interactive — that is responding to visitors’ inputs (e.g., body movements, voices, touch). Alternatively, these art pieces can be immersive, presenting viewers with a new spatial environment or altering the nature of their surroundings. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are typical examples of the technologies promoting this kind of experience. Nonetheless, these installations require expensive material, logistical, computational, and architectural planning. Ultimately, this art form is now suited to museums, and institutional and public spaces, offering the vast areas and infrastructures for people to experience the medium entirely. Leading protagonists in the design of installations include Team Lab, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Michel Bret and Edmond Couchot.

Aleksei Goferman

Goferman's Fragments project features experiments in Photoshop

Aleksei Goferman is a Ukranian digital artist based in Munich, Germany. Currently working as an interaction designer with a focus on UI and UX director, Goferman is an active member of various art collectives where he acts out his passion for digital art. His portfolio is full of inspiring imagery, which showcases his talents in logo creation, web and graphic design.

Aleksei Goferman also known as VISIO is an multidisciplinary artist and designer from Munich, Germany. Currently working as an interaction designer with a focus on UI / UX. In addition, he has many years of experience in digital art and high-end retouching.

His creations are published in books as well as in Several magazines like Advanced Photoshop or Digital Arts.

His website:

Aiste Stancikaite

Berlin-based artist, Aiste Stancikaite, combines her love for pencil drawing with digital media. Using software like Photoshop, she transforms her drawings into animations or adds visual interest to still images in other ways.

Alberto Seveso

The portfolio of digital artist Alberton Seveso is awe-inspiring. With multiple pages of stunning digital images, there really is something here for everyone. A master of Photoshop, Seveso has created artwork for brands including Sony, Bacardi and Nikon to name a few.

Illustrator & Digital Photographer Alberto Seveso was born in Milan, he grow up in Sardinia but is now working and living in Bristol (UK) as a freelancer. His passion for graphic art started when he was in a young age and he was really fascinated by the graphic of skate decks and the cover of music CD of metal bands in the early ‘90s. From this passion he started to create his artworks.

He has worked on high profile brands like: Adobe, Nikon, Sony, Technicolor, MTV, Sony Music, Mayr Melnhof, Olmeca Tequila, National Geographic, PlayBoy Magazine, GQ Magazine, ESPN Magazine, Ford, Nature, New Scientist, Penguin Books, Burton Snowboards, Disney, Terry Bicycles, Island Music, Bacardi, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, Triwa, Gaiam, Warner Music, Feevale Universidade and many more.

His work has been featured on various magazines, books and blogs like: Huffington Post, GQ Magazine, Wired, Colossal, Computer Arts, Advanced Photoshop Magazine, La Repubblica, Photoshop Creative, Hi-Fructose, Beautiful Bizarre, Cult of Mac, My Modern Met, Taschen Illustration NOW! Vol.04, Lürzer’s ARCHIVE, Behance Book Super-Modified, Grafuck Vol. 03, and many other.

His website:

Erik Johansson

Erik Johansson is a photographer who depicts surreal imagery. With the camera as his main tool, he strives to capture the impossible. None of the finished photos he creates use computer-generated imagery; they are all a combination of photos he has taken himself. Because it takes a great deal of time to create one photo, he might only complete six to eight finished pieces a year.

Erik Johansson (born 1985) is a photographer and visual artist from Sweden based in Prague, Czech Republic. His work can be described as surreal world created by combining different photographs. Erik works on both personal and commissioned projects with clients all around the world. In contrast to traditional photography he doesn't capture moments, he captures ideas with the help of his camera and imagination. The goal is to make it look as realistic as possible even if the scene itself contains impossible elements. In the end it all comes down to problem solving, finding a way to capture the impossible.

To Erik it's always important with a high level of realism in his work. He want's the viewer to feel like they are part of the scene. Although his work consists of a lot of work in post-production and combining photogaphs he always tries to capture as much as possible in camera. "No one can tell you that it doesn’t look realistic if you actually captured it for real."

Light and perspective are crucial parts when combining images in a realistic way and if some parts are not possible to shoot on location, a similar scene has to be built up in a controlled environment. Having an understanding of both photography and post production is very important to make everything come together seamlessly. Every photograph and part has its purpose.

Erik always do all the post production himself to be in complete control of the end result. The idea, photography and post production are all connected. The final image doesn’t become better than the photographs used to capture it. Just like the photographs don’t become stronger than the idea.

There are no computer generated-, illustrated- or stock photos in Erik's personal work, just complex combinations of his own photographs. It's a long process and he only creates 6-8 new images a year (excluding commissioned work).

His website:

Hal Lasko

Hal Lasko is known as “The Pixel Painter.” On his 85th birthday, he was given a PC loaded with Microsoft Paint. Lasko was a lifelong artist, however, in his older age, his vision began to fail. Creating on the computer allowed him to make art for the rest of his life.

Pixel by Pixel. That’s how Hal Lasko made his masterpieces. Each one, tediously and lovingly crafted on a decades old software program, some taking hundreds of hours to complete.

It’s hard to believe his pieces, that many say resemble classic 8-bit video games, were created on Microsoft Paint. But the program would end up being a saving grace for a lifelong artist who refused to let a major disability stop him from creating and eventually sharing his love of art with the world.

"Grandpa Hal", as he was better known, did all of his work despite challenges that could’ve ended his passion for painting. In his later years, he suffered from wet macular degeneration, an age-related, chronic eye disease which severely limited the center of his field of vision. It was a formidable handicap for anyone, but especially someone who'd made a living off his artist's eye.

Long before age began to take its toll on Lasko, he'd enjoyed a successful career as an artist of a different sort than what he became. He started out as a graphic designer, working in the military during World War II drafting maps and eventually retired from American Greetings in the 1970s.

Throughout it all he would paint at home to satisfy his artistic urges, but the older Lasko got, the harder it became for him to paint.

That all changed for Hal when his family gave him a computer as an 85th birthday present. His new PC came loaded with Microsoft Paint software, a program developed in the 1980’s. In today's “Age of the iPad”, the program is more kitsch than cutting edge, but its easy interface and pixel precision allowed Lasko to journey down a new artistic path with a style many consider “retro cool”.

With help from his grandson Ryan and his friend Josh, Lasko has shared his work and story with the world with the making of “The Pixel Painter”. With over 3 million online views, the documentary became a viral sensation, touching the hearts and “spray paint cans” of art lovers everywhere.

In his last year of life, Hal sold his first piece of artwork, had international gallery showings and was featured in MIcrosoft’s 2013 Super Bowl commercial. He passed away just shy of his 99th birthday in 2014, leaving us with a legacy that passion knows no age, and for Hal, the proof of that is surely in the pixels.

Website about Hal Lasko:

Sara Ludy

The work by Sara Ludy comes in the form of sculptures, websites, videos, animations, and audio-visual experiences. Her works seek to find the relationship between the virtual and physical world. In some of her most recent work, she explores the world of virtual reality.

Sara Ludy is an American artist working in a wide range of media including video, sound, animation, VR, AR, websites, audiovisual performance, sculpture, painting, photography, and installation. Through an interdisciplinary practice, hybrid forms emerge from the confluence of nature, architecture, abstraction, and the unconscious; reflecting an uncanny presence that questions our relationship to immateriality and space.

Previous exhibitions of Ludy’s work include the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Berkeley Art Museum, California; Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; bitforms gallery, New York; Postmasters Gallery, New York; Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, New York; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Western Front, Vancouver; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Carroll Fletcher, London; Espace Verney-Carron, Lyon; and C-Space, Beijing. Her work has been featured in Modern Painters, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Art Forum, Art in America, and Cultured Magazine.

Her website:

Interview with her: