Acquired through our growth into modernism, art has manifested a certain dependence on theoretical discourse. German Philosopher Arnold Gehlen proposes that art’s ‘need for explanation’ is derived from its ‘difficulty’ or otherwise inaccessibility to the public; implying that although art is always human, human is not always artist. The exclusivity of the art-world supports this notion as it is categorized and defined by a hierarchal pattern of thought development: from initial Spectator, to Theorist, to Artist – in a sense, paralleling the core pattern of the human condition and artistic process: observation, evaluation, and response. For one to define oneself an “artist” all three components of this condition are necessary.
For French painter, Henri Matisse, an artist can be defined as one who is both a product and component of Nature. “[The Artist] must possess nature by identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language. When we speak of Nature it is wrong to forget that we are ourselves a part of Nature.” All that we encounter in life is digested and categorized on an individual level. No matter how many may share a particular experience, each personality holds a unique perspective and set of experiences that is impossible to duplicate.
Before any exposure to the art-world – or the real world for that matter – we are endowed a set of bias-free goggles with which to Spectate the universe. Anywhere from 1-3 weeks to roughly 9 months – depending on your definition – we are brought into ...
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“Every good painter paints what he is,” Jackson Pollock. This quote implies that one first knows who he is, then paints himself; quite an ambitious task in my opinion. My initial mimetic response to the universe cultivated enough representational skill so I would later have the ability to interpret my reality via imagery. Nearly every form of art I have been exposed to thus far have been inspirational methods of discovery and skill development rather than expression.
Escaping the artist’s body, mind, or spirit, Art is a creation meant to transmit as an elusive truth to the viewer. It is a condition of humanity that is exclusively conceptualized. Is it possible to develop a definition or theory of art that is concisely conclusive? Perhaps not; as art is infinitesimally subject to the evolution of our humanity. Then again, perhaps.
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