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Laurence Gartel: Digital Art Pioneer

Laurence Gartel:  Digital Art Pioneer

Introduction to Laurence Gartel. 14:15 min.. Interview: Raymond Elman. Post-Production: Paris Bender. Music: dazewith’ Recorded via Zoom.  12/21/2023, South Florida


LAURENCE GARTEL (b.1956) is a very innovative and eclectic artist, who is a pioneer of digital art.

His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Joan Whitney Payson Museum, Long Beach Museum of Art, Princeton Art Museum, PS 1, Norton Museum, Palm Beach Photographic Center and in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History and the Bibliotheque Nationale.

Born and raised in New York City, Gartel attended the High School of Music and Art, followed by the School of Visual Arts where he earned his BFA degree majoring in Graphics. He received an MA in photography from CW Post College, studying under Arthur Liepzig.

Gartel started his electronic career working side by side with Nam June Paik at Media Study/Buffalo in upstate New York in 1975, where he experimented with photographing and manipulating images on computer monitors.

Gartel taught Andy Warhol how to use an Amiga Computer, when Warhol received a commission to create an album cover for Debbie Harry of Blondie. Gartel has had many associations with other musicians such as Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols), Stiv Bators (Dead Boys) Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls) Ace Frehley (Kiss), and Wendy O Williams (Plasmatics).

More recently, Gartel has created artwork for pop culture stars like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. His “ABSOLUT GARTEL” commission from Absolut Vodka is perhaps his most well-known artwork appearing in Art in America, Artforum, Sotheby’s Magazine, Art and Auction, Art and Antiques, ArtByte, Scientific American, Technology Review, WIRED, and New York magazine. It is known as the first digital photograph ever created for this famous advertising campaign and is included in “ABSOLUT BOOK” by Richard Lewis.

There are several monograph books about Gartel’s work, including: “Laurence Gartel: A Cybernetic Romance,” published by Gibbs Smith; and “GARTEL: Arte & Tecnologia,” published by Edizioni Mazzotta.


The videos below were recorded via Zoom, are organized by Success Factor, and run between 30 seconds and 6 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.


Creative Flexbility:  4:14 min.

Of the two, what inspired you the most — technology or visual art?


Open to Change, Flexibility:  4:29 min.

Tell us about the evolution of your visual style.


Resilience:  4:41 min.

Were you making similar imagery before you started using technology? Or did technology drive your imagery?


Collaboration: 1:11 min.

Have you viewed any of our Artspeak video conversations on our website or in our e-Magazine?


Exposure to Broad Influences:  3:28 min.

Have you started experimenting with Artificial Intelligence?


Develop a Voice: 2:59 min.

It will be interesting to see you find ways of using AI that are uniquely creative.


 Collaboration  0:53 sec

Tell us about your “Warhol vs Gartel HYP POP” book.


Critical Thinking 5:41 min

When and why did you move to Florida?


Understands Artists’ Needs   2:58 min

What’s on your drawing board?


Empathy: 2:53 min.

 What’s your favorite movie?