Digital libraries of images have replaced our old ways of accessing previously hidden and exclusive material.
The internet has decentralized paintings, taking away much of their rarity and adding to their presence - a fascinating dichotomy of both dis-empowering and empowering the physical by the virtual.
This now forces galleries to become something different to what they once were. Before, they were vaults for precious resources - now they are places to experience, they must provide that special something an image of an artwork on the internet cannot.
An ambience, a show, a unique event - the gallery has evolved..
And in turn the way in which we see the images it houses physically and online has changed and evolved.
When I see Frances Bacon online, I see this...
It is both dehumanizing and intimate.
This view tells a story of the artist - just like how an aerial shot of a city from space tells a story of the people who made it.
And like an aerial view, it was previously not viewable, a new insight.
And like an aerial view it is both humbling and distancing.
"Like looking at ants."
By recognizing these impacts and juxtapositions our ways of seeing have been affected by modern technology we can start to build places both virtual and physical in which these positive effects can be harnessed, and the negative ones mitigated.
For now though, you can view an artist's life's work with convenient recommendations of 'Christmas Drawings', 'Flower Paintings' and 'French Toast Recipes'...