The Reason Why I Like To See The Original Piece Of Art Rather Than Digital Prints

Here’s why we need to start seeking original pieces.

Photo by Author (at Whitney Museum of American Art)

I’ve been to many museums and galleries in the past few years. I still consider myself an amateur, but as I see more artworks, I realized how important it is to integrate creativity into our lives.

One main thing I love about seeing artworks is the storytelling behind each piece. An artist usually uses different mediums to showcase his or her artwork to the audience. Whether it is oil, pencil, acryl, crayons, or chalks, as long as it portrays the artist’s expression in the piece, it makes artwork an artwork. For each piece, there comes a story as well. Although the artist may not have intended a story, the life story of that artist can be the story to tell while looking at their pieces.

Not only that, I’m always awed by how artworks have no real answers. And modern art is all about having no answers. It’s based on how the audience feels about the works of art they can observe and learn from.

The same piece of the Mona Lisa can be seen differently by each individual based on what they’ve been through and what they’ve learned in the past. It’s not only art but everything that we can see in this world can be seen the same way.

For me, I always try to see the original piece rather than the digital print when it comes to art. And that is because the original work has much more to say about the artwork itself rather than seeing an art piece through pixels.

I am quite disappointed when people take photos in front of digital prints and say they’ve enjoyed the work. To me, it seems as if they enjoyed the act of taking the photo in front of the artwork more than actually seeing the artwork.

Below are reasons why I believe that seeing the real piece is important:

1. Details Are Hidden

When looking into a piece of art, I put much of my attention into the details of the work. Well, there are indeed no answers to how we should look at art, but the details are the ones that make the artwork unique.

The brushstrokes of an artist—whether thick or thin—is what makes that piece interesting to me.

“What would be the reason why he/she only put small pressure on this part of the work?”

I would often question myself. The question I ask while looking at the piece allows me to develop my own answer based on how I interpret the art piece. It may be the artist’s difficult time period in his/her life that made the brushstroke thinner, or maybe the artist intentionally made it thin so that the art can convey the expression of helplessness and despair.

It’s always fascinating to come up with a question while looking at an art piece. And this process of questioning and answering on my own is what makes me grow as a viewer.

But when I see artworks through digital prints, the details are diminished—which prevents me from questioning “why” and only leaves me with a thought of, “oh well, this piece looks good.” Not being able to go deep with each and every art is what makes me disappointed. I am not getting 100% from the artwork, whereas the original piece allows me to feel all the expression that is throwing at me.

2. Can’t Feel The Same Sensation As Seeing The Real Work

It’s improbable that a gallery or a museum will print out a 12-ft piece of artwork to show the audience. With this much effort, it would be easier to bring in the original piece of art.

I am saying this because there are huge artworks in real life but small in digital prints. When we see Mark Rothko’s artwork in digital print, we don’t get the sensation people get when they see the original piece.

The intimacy experience that the artist want’s to convey does not go through when we see through a printed version. Instead, it only gives an impression to the audience on why that art piece is famous after all.

When I saw the real artwork of Mark Rothko, it was a new feeling that I’ve never experienced before. The avant-garde experience allowed me to get sucked into the artwork that I’ve stayed longer than average, seeing the same work over and over again. The big piece seemed to be that it had something to speak, making me question what it is that it may want to convey.

The more I look into it, the more I got emersed. I felt the intimacy when I had the chance to look into the real piece close-up. That something I had never experienced when I only viewed it on my computer screen.

3. Helps Artists

I am a strong supporter of all artists in this world. I understand that there are digital artworks that are not always conventional paintings. However, as more people only enjoy the art through the digital screen, it will demotivate the artists who use traditional methods of creating arts. Thus, I am always open to support my nearby art museums or galleries through subscription and by visiting oftentimes.

Understanding the transformation of art is also very important as NFTs, and new art forms are being attracted by many people these days.

And in fact, the whole point of NFT is to see who holds the real piece of the artwork, rather than just a screenshot jpg file.

Whichever way we are going through history, the fundamental is clear. We all know that we want to seek the real piece.

For sure, whether it is digital art or traditional art, it will be here to stay for the long run no matter what, only if we have a sufficient number of people appreciating every artwork in this world.

And the best way to appreciate artwork is by showing up and seeing the artwork. In that way, we can support all the artists who create and share their thoughts to the world.

Writer, Painter, Digital Marketer, and a Creative Thinker | Writing: Personal Growth, Productivity, Business, Technologies & Art |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store