Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sometimes I can write, too

The great paradox of art, for me at least, is that it can be so universally accepted by all cultures of humanity on a macro scale, but so tediously confusing and complex on a micro scale.
When I was younger I was certain I knew what art was. Even before this class [Aesthetics] I thought I had a good understanding of what art is and that I would carry that conception with me into my 30s and maybe later down the road I would have some grand epiphany about art that would lead to a great and timeless understanding of what art "is" and that some how I would know something that no one else before me had ever known. Ever.
With each passing reading, however, I'm not so sure that there are unexplained areas of art theory or philosophy. Everything seems to have been covered up into this point in history. There are essentially no more limits to what can be created, and what can be thought about being created. Even to have an idea of maybe one day making something significant is a type of art. So what does that leave for the modern artist?
Warhol and Lichtenstein took the world they saw and adapted it. They made works biggers and massed produced them. Even Duchamp took something that was already in and used, and turned it on its side and made it art. What does the modern artist aspire to create that has not already been created by someone better before him?
Imitation is a tough thing to achieve without feeling cheap. When I take a photograph, or draw a picture, I'm not making anything original in the sense that I am making something from nothing, but somehow the process of me making that photo or drawing becomes more than just a copying. When I copy something I become the author of that copy, but is that worthy of praise or critique?
I have chosen a career choice that allows me full versatility and freedom of expression, yet I'm still crippled by the fear that things have already been done, and already been done better. Being more than an artist, but rather being a great idealist and contemporary thinker, seems to in some respects outweigh craftsmanship today. I'm not sure where I belong at times, but I don't think I can stop myself from trying to make something new. I guess that's a large part of what art IS for me. It's a drive to make a and create and attempt and fail and succeed and always push forward. I'm always going to try and create. Always. Regardless of whether or not its been thought or done before.

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