Art + Technology = Quality Control

ArtsNews Feature

Artists who are riding the wave of new technology are discovering it gives them greater control over their art, more options, finer quality and a host of new conveniences. Artist Marc Weinstein, President of Color Group, a full service photo and imaging lab in Hawthorne, is most excited about how new technologies are enabling artists to duplicate their work. “In the old days we worked with artists to reproduce their work,” says Weinstein. “Now the quality of printing and imaging is so improved, that we have gone beyond just reproducing to nearly replicating art work. And, in many cases, incorporating the process as part of the original work.”

Weinstein, a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York, was trained as a photographer and printmaker. His business — helping artists and businesses produce their work give him little time for his own art. “Shoemakers don’t have shoes,” he says.

According to Weinstein, the new accessibility of digital technology is the major factor in providing artist with more control and more options. Typically the use of digital involves scanning a print into the computer or sending it to the computer directly with a digital camera. Artists are using these new tools in many ways. Some are creating images directly on the computer, whereas others are scanning in their original photography or prints and altering them digitally. Many artist make prints from digital work and then hand draw or paint over the computer image to complete the work.“

Because of the new software like PhotoShop, customers can now do filters, blurs, retouching and lighting themselves,” he says. “Few of them could do it in the old days and those who did had to do it by hand. The possibilities with PhotoShop are almost endless. you could spend years perfecting the use of all the tools on that program,” says Weinstein.

A visit behind the scenes at Color Group provides an education in the imaging business. There are separate spaces for photo labs, computers, printers and various work stations. One room the size of a small gymnasium is used just for photographing large objects such as cars. Special fluorescent lighting throughout the building is set to replicate daylight between the hours of 11 A.M. to 1 P.M., the standard for the photography industry.