Pixels Floating on the Art World’s Margins
By HAROLD GOLDBERG
LOS ANGELES — The annual E3 convention here is known for the glitzy premiere of video games with huge budgets, and for its boisterous hustle and bustle. But tucked between the two rowdy convention halls is a quieter area resembling a Chelsea art gallery.
This is the site of the “Into the Pixel” exhibition, a juried collection of 16 digital artworks printed on canvas and plucked from the kinds of video games being marketed nearby. Those who stumble upon these works can take a few minutes or more to muse upon the artists’ intent and inspiration — and perhaps glean some untold secrets, since the images are from games yet to be released.
Now in its 10th year, “Into the Pixel” is still somewhat overlooked during the convention, although perhaps less so than in years past. Recent exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum have considered such art in a different light, focusing on each video game as a whole.
“The thing is, these people are not computer geeks — they’re real artists,” said Martin Rae, the president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, which jointly produces the show with the Entertainment Software Association. “And this is some of the top-tier art on the planet.”