Some young artists today have never used charcoal, pen, pencil, ink, pastels, paint, paper or canvas. They create digital art, maybe on a Wacom Tablet or an iPad. If your immediate response is "Well, that doesn't count." or "That's cheating," then you may, indeed, be an Old Fart. We've been thru this argument before, you know. The old "Photography isn't Art" debate.
Check out the paper Art and Code: The Aesthetic Legacy of Aldo Giorgini (by Esteban Garcia and David Whittinghill): "Abstract: In 1975 Aldo Georgini developed a software program in FORTRAN called FIELDS, a numerical visual laboratory devoted entirely to art production. Working extensively as both artist and scientist, Giorgini was one of the first computer artists to combine software writing with early printing technologies, leaving an aesthetic legacy in the field of the digital arts. His individual process was innovative in that it consisted of producing pen-plotted drawings embellished by the artist's hand with painting, drawing, and screen-printing. This paper is the product of a multi-year study of Georgini's primary source materials provided by his estate. The authors examine the methods used by Georgini during the 1970s that allowed him to create computer-aided art, in the hope that publishing this work will ensure that future generations of digital artists, technologists and scientists can be educated in Georgini's contribution to the history of the digital arts.". http://www.leonardo.info/isast/journal/currentiss.html
Wait a minute? 1975? Here is one of his images, titled "Claustrophobia":
Remember the Quantel Paintbox? From Wikipedia: "The Quantel Paintbox was a dedicated computer graphics workstation for composition of broadcast television video and graphics. Its design emphasizes the studio workflow efficiency required for live news production. Following its initial launch in 1981, it revolutionised the production of television graphics." Here, an image by Eduardo Gutekunst, using Quantel Paintbox, from the December, 1985 issue of Antic, (from atarimagazines.com):
Now, let's look at Bert Monroy, who began his digital art career in 1984. Here is his artist statement: "As a photo-realist painter, I have often been asked why I don’t just take a photograph. Good question, when you consider my paintings look like photographs. Well, for one thing, I’m not a photographer. To me, it is not the destination that is important—it is the journey. The incredible challenge of recreating reality is my motivation." Yes, his work is digital. And, yes, he calls himself a painter. Here is his piece Lunch in Tiburon.
Now, consider this painting by well-known photorealist Janet Fish:
Let's close with famous British artist David Hockney. He has used every kind of traditional art media you can think of. But, throughout his career he has worked with new technologies. Prints using photocopiers. And fax machines. He worked with the Quantel Paintbox for the BBC program, Painting with Light. (I would share the Youtube link, but the video has been removed. Copyright violations. I understand, but I still sigh.) He worked extensively with the Polaroid Camera, putting together amazing photocollages. See some on his website: http://www.hockneypictures.com/photos/photos_polaroids.php
And, lately, he has been working with the iPhone and iPad. The exhibit "David Hockney: me draw on iPad" is currently on view at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Visit: (http://www.louisiana.dk/uk/Menu/Exhibitions/David+Hockney%3A+Me+Draw+On+iPad)