Laurence Gartel: Digital Titan

Through Saturday, January 5, 2019
Palm Beach Photographic Centre

This exhibition explores unique works from Laurence Gartel, nicknamed the "Father of Digital Art", along with new works created specifically for the exhibition. Also on display are pieces that Gartel has received over time.

About the artist:

Gartel’s trailblazing in digital art was unthinkable when he started his career in 1975. He was working at Media Study/Buffalo on analog system computers when he met video guru Nam June Paik. 

Gartel’s vision was to create electronic images by capturing them with a still camera off a monitor, as there were no saving devices or software to store the created picture. In 1985, he delivered the keynote speech at the First Pan Pacific Computer Conference in Melbourne, Australia predicting the future of the world, which landed him on the front page of The Australian Newspaper. This was the same year he taught Andy Warhol how to use the Amiga Computer to create the album cover for Debbie Harry (Blondie). It was a moment when "Pop Art met Digital Art."

Nam June Paik went on to write the Introduction to what is thought to be the first book on digital art: “Laurence Gartel: A Cybernetic Romance” published by Gibbs Smith in 1989. The same year, Gartel created the first cover of Forbes Magazine and held an exhibition of works titled, “Nuvo Japonica” made on a Commodore Amiga Computer that replaced Van Gogh’s “Irises” at the Joan Whitney Payson Gallery in Portland, Maine. 

In the true innovative sense, Gartel received the commission to produce ABSOLUT GARTEL for Absolut Vodka, utilizing the first digital camera by Canon. The “file” itself was 900K - less than a megabyte. This astounded everyone as to how something with “low” resolution could command the attention of the advertising and art world.

Laurence’s 40-year career has touched all points of the globe: from creating a Bollywood-style video and music multimedia work commissioned by Universal Studios; to delivering the keynote speech at the Fotographica Congress in Orvieto, Italy to receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Globus Family Trust; official artist of the 57th Grammy Awards; artist of the Newport Jazz Festival; NASA MMS Launch at Kennedy Space Center; official artist of the Monaco International Film Festival, to being the feature of the Oslo Motor Show in Norway. 

Gartel has “boldly gone where no artist has gone before.” In 2009, the Palm Beach Photographic Centre bestowed the FotoMentor Award on Laurence for his resilient vision.

Schedule & Tickets


Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays

More Info

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Palm Beach Photographic Centre

415 Clematis Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 253-2600 phone

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