Mobile Art for a Mobile World

If we were to imagine for a moment a world in which mobile art — art made on a smartphone or small tablet — was the major medium for artists, how would we envision it?

Artists would use portable devices to shoot photographs or edit images that they’ve stored on their phones or in the cloud, or digitally draw and paint fresh new works, or perhaps combine all of these methods. They would work from coffee shops, bars or subways, uploading finished works to the Internet for immediate global distribution while they travel in foreign cities. Some might remix each other’s works that they find online, while others might prefer to work, like the Impressionists, en plein air, replacing the easel, paintbox and canvas with processed photos, and painting and image editing apps.

Art collectors would follow their favourite artists, downloading the latest visual commentary from mobile Pop artists on the day’s major news events and projecting them on walls later that evening in restaurants and living rooms around the planet, consuming them in a similar way to how they might read an opinion piece or watch analysis on cable news. They would support artists through the purchase of limited edition prints of digital works, perhaps the artists marking them up with pencil crayons or paint to give the works unique attributes. Artists would also attract commissions, sell exclusive digital subscriptions or make special appearances at clubs and events.

Tantalizingly, the prerequisite tools for this exciting world already exist.

‘Shoes’ by Pocobelli, iPhone 6s, digital image.

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