When attempting to create or follow a new style category, the artist should be aware of past and present trends and traditions before inventing or creating a new trend. Since the creation of photography, art has been expressed with various materials and different forms of ideas and perspectives. For a number of years, many people in the art world have speculated that the past art styles have “died” and a new era of artistic expression took over, such as: Performance Art, Earth Art, Video and Digital Art. As a result, digital artists’ aspirations for their artworks are to create images that could support the prolonged debate of art styles from the past being “dead”. There is nothing wrong with artists experimenting and using different mediums to incorporate in their artwork. However, I do not understand why most artists would “defy”, “reject”, and/or “stray away” from the very foundation of art. Contemporary artists like Cindy Sherman might attempt to stray away from painting and drawing, but it will be a very difficult task because the artwork that they create will most likely be compared to a painting or drawing done in the past that has similar themes/motifs (such as the “male gaze”), which will tie or link them all together. Instead, the digital artists should realize that their artworks approach the same themes and motifs as the painters and artists of the past used and incorporating it to benefit his own expression of his ideals and perspectives.
The theory of the male gaze pertains to occurrences in which a particular audience (could be theatrical, political, social, and etc.) is led to view things in a heterosexual male’s perspective. Within these occurrences, emphasis is usually placed on a female’s body. In Laura Mulvey’s essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, the author addresses how this phenomenon “denies women human agency”. Mulvey’s statement can persuade the individual to believe that this exploitation of the female body that is usually portrayed within films or other forms of digital media causes women to lose her human qualities and identity, which forces the women to be viewed as an object. The most problematic viewpoints and digital images that are presented to our society based on the dominant culture’s perspective are the depiction of women as sexual objects or being “invisible”.
Each viewpoint or digital image suggests that the male’s perspective is superior to the female’s perspective of men or themselves as a whole. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” attempts to give the reader insight about ways in which women and other minorities are considered marginalized or “outcaste” by mainstream society (White males). Mulvey’s article advocates and speaks for the feminine community in regards to the belief that the societal “system” that we live in gives White males the opportunity and authority to be able to oppress or discriminate against particular “groups” due to their gender and/or financial, social, cultural status, and what they see in digital images or films. The reader is also encouraged to form their own opinions on the topic addressed to hopefully motivate them and give them insight into a particular societal group’s unjust oppression in which they have no control over.