An Investigation of Computer Application to Painting in Nigeria

Duniya, Gambo G., Gyegwe, Aondover Gabriel


This study historically, overviews the subject and development of painting from the primordial time, to the postmodern period, bringing into focus the computer as a new medium for artistic inquiry. The background similarly overviews the influence of the machine on various artistic forms like textile design, graphic design and even painting especially in Western climes, without Nigerian examples of paintings with the computer. The problem of the study therefore, is the seeming apathy by Nigerian painters to apply computer to painting. Objectives were set as follows; i. to record the historical developments of the computer in Nigeria. ii. Investigate the dimensions of computer application to painting in Nigeria. iii. Analyze computer paintings by Nigerian painters. iv. Make a comparative analysis of conventional and computer paintings by Nigerian artists. v. Curate an exhibition of computer paintings in Nigeria. Review of literature was tripartite structured on; i. Historical overview of persons, products and ideas that have influenced painting. ii. The computer and its influence and, iii. Computer influenced paintings. Methodology was based on art historical paradigms of inquiry which are essentially qualitative, however, quantitative values in the objectives made it pertinent to mix appended quantitative statistical results. Population was 41 computer paintings by Nigerian painters and 14 Nigerian computer painters based on purposive/judgmental sampling. Data was variously collected through the following instruments; questionnaire, interview schedules, observation, photography, and internet. Books, exhibition catalogues and social media like the face book provided secondary sources of data gathering. Field work benefitted from a pilot study with validated questionnaires and interview schedules. A total of 139 questionnaires were turned in and 14 artists with computer paintings were interviewed and analyzed respectively based on prescriptions by Eyo (1977) and Stokstad (2005). Major findings were that; the computer had made inroads into Nigeria since 1963 at the University of Ibadan and 1967 at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with developments leading to the application of computer to painting around the early 1990s. It was also found that Nigerian painters have applied the computer to panting in various dimensions like; image manipulation, enhancement, illustration, painting with software like Photoshop, CorelDraw among other software and hardware. Another finding was that few Nigerian painters were actually interested and have created paintings with the computer. Furthermore, because the paintings share certain commonalities, they could be grouped and analyzed like the conventional ones. However, differences, advantages and disadvantages exist. The major challenge being posed by electricity cut in Nigeria and lack of acceptance like the conventional ones. The research theoretically finds support from Friedberg (2006) theoretical polemics that asserts the metaphor of the windows as a frame that encloses a painting. The researcher therefore, suggested that computer painting be included in the painting curriculum to give desired clout to enhance painting and complement the examples analyzed and discussed in this research.

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