Monday, January 23, 2006

Expanding on today's class discussion...

I love blogs solely for days like this, where I need to bring up a discussion point but don't form my argument until we're about to leave class...

Anyway, what struck me was the idea of not wanting to consider art an imitation because it's only half-complete if it has not yet been evaluated by an outsider. My response to that, in defense of art as imitation, is the question of what happens when the craftsman is able to evoke an emotional reaction with what he makes. Supposing the craftsman builds an object using the ultimate object as a model, and the artist creates an image of that object...if the craftsman built an object that made its consumers/witnesses strongly react, and the artist were able to capture both the object and the feeling it resulted in, then wouldn't that piece of art be an imitation of the craftsman's experience because the beauty conveyed in the art is beauty that resulted from the craftsman's creation? If you were to merely paint a picture of the craftsman's chair, for instance, it is unlikely that your painting would give your audience a brand new reaction not already associated with the craftsman's original chair, unless you completely skewed your picture of that chair, in which case you're not imitating the chair itself but any emotional reaction that you have over the chair and wish to convey. Ah...so in short, I do think art is imitation.

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