It is almost certain that virtual reality technology will proliferate into every aspect of modern life. A headset and a smart device allow for endless creativity within a finite space, so the practical applications of such technology are endless.

This is especially true for the world of art, where the opportunity to boundlessly draw and create in three dimensions is enticing for many reasons. One of the primary reasons being that it brings an audience closer than ever to the art they love. What could be more of an engaging experience with a painting than to walk around and through it, with the geometry and atmosphere changing as you move?

Experience and engage with Hokusai’s iconic print like never before

Some of the art work already created in virtual reality is stunning. For example, using a device called the Google tilt brush, The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai was reproduced in three-dimensions. The 3D painting allows the audience to experience and engage with Hokusai’s iconic print like never before. It can be observed from afar, or alternatively sit in the middle and see the waves as the boatmen would.

So why even question whether virtual reality will distance us from art when the intent is so clearly to bring us closer? The concern is virtual reality art will be too inaccessible and company owned to facilitate for the great creative minds of our generation. Large companies own and retain much of the advanced software needed for more complex artwork, meaning the only way to access it is through employment. This inevitably means a significant portion of artists’ time will be used on company projects rather than their own.

New virtual reality technology will bring us closer than ever to art

If virtual reality art is controlled and dictated, will we allow the Hokusai of this new digital artform to prosper? Furthermore, will we become distant from art as a craft if it is heavily regulated by companies trying to protect their image?

Fortunately, there is not too much cause for concern. Like the Patrons of the Italian Renaissance, companies like Google recognise that to get the most out of their artists, they need to give them the creative space to experiment. Google provide tools and technical support to many well-known artists such as cartoonist Scott McCloud to experiment within virtual reality.

This new virtual reality technology will bring us closer than ever to art and inspire a new generation of talented 3D digital artists. We should embrace the exciting changes and opportunities it will bring.

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