Thursday, June 23, 2005

Quick Question

To care about a work of art and really love it, do you have to care about the artist? My view is that I don't. I've never been a fan of historical interpretations of art - meaning that its significance is tied up in "what the artist was going through."

For example, I doubt I agree with the politics of most of the people who craft the music I listen to, and that is certainly true of the film industry. Is the Wizard of Oz any better or worse because it is really a political commentary on bimetalism. I can certainly appreciate the fact that Dryden's Absolam and Achitophel mocked the attempt to make the Duke of Monmouth the successor to the throne, but despite my love of mockery (especially the political sort), the poem was pretty good on its own - that is before my professor started in on the political implications of the poem.

I just think that once I see a work of art it, on some level, belongs only to the individual (me). Certainly, I appreciate that the artist shared the work, whatever it may be, but it no longer belongs to him or her.

I only ask this because I overheard someone say today, outside my office window, "I have to meet the person that created that [work of art]." See, I'm not that type of person. I am just as happy to never meet that person.

Kid H.


Anonymous Hero of Canton said...

Art affects us all on some level. It is seldom on the same level as that of the artist. I went to a friend of mine who had a gallery displaying her art. She said it was the longest day of her life because she spent all of it listing to other peoples interpertations of her art. Not one of which was what she intended with any of the pieces. It wasen't that the people did not appriciate her art they just interperate it differently.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Badger said...

Despite liking most of Van Goghs work, I get the feeling that a real life meeting would show me the guy was a freak of nature, if such a meeting were possible. Da Vinci on the other hand might be an artist you need to sit down and have a beer with.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, interpretation is pretty much a joke in my opinion. Anyone thats ever done any art / craft / or music quickly becomes aware of the fact that outside influences can sometimes have a substantial impact on the final direction a work takes. Once, on a color pen drawing / painting I was working on, I ran out of a certain color - and the school store was out as well. The timeframe was too short for the projects completion so I had to go with a totally different color and work it in. It dramaticaly changed the feeling. The hilarious bit, was upon hearing viewers talk about the piece, and discuss / debate the meaning behind the colors and particularly the color that 'ran out'. I was just sitting there thinking "should I tell them?" There wasn't any meaning, I ran out of the color, and couldn't get anymore. That was it. It pretty much drove home the point for me that day that my Art History class was a joke (I had felt this but it was one more reason) and art interpretation as 'fact' was a joke. Sure, it can be fun to talk about what a piece means to the viewer, but the viewer will never have a true clue as to what really went on. Who knows if some of these long dead famous artists merely ran out of a color etc.

I would say again, that I agree with the poster / commenters who say that the work of art exists solely in the mind of the viewer. The artist him/herself becomes a viewer during and after the works completion as well.


3:50 PM  

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