Art is defined by the mere ability to appreciate beauty. Everyone appreciates art in some form, perhaps without realizing it. Art is everywhere, from the clothes a person wears, to the century old design on a canvas, a photo that captures the lust of the moment, or even a cake thats been decorated into a masterpiece. We have the ability to call for a sanctuary in our own self expressions. We can reveal a mood, or personality type, show hurt, or loss. A simple color scheme can signify hope, loss, or rage. Throughout time our resources have altered gears but we as a society have not necessarily lost our ability to appreciate art, for as I said, it surrounds us more then ever, however, we live in a different time.
Walter Benjamin explains, “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.” We live in a new time with new advancements and sources, a aid to convenience even, so how could we find the right way to personally connect to a work of art, and feel the artists intentions. A picture, does indeed, tell a thousand words, but based on personal experiences, each person will find a different story. Benjamin tells readers, “The technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition.” In James Fallow’s 1982 article he discusses the obsession with computers, and all I could think about was the many transformations that technology has undergone even in the years since that was written. I think it is important to use computers as a helping hand to expand our artist techniques, but as it was true back then, and holds true now, you can not simply copy and artists work. An original painting is like a fingerprint that can not be perfectly replicated.
While some can still appreciate the simple art of a pencil and paper, “Many in the profession use the computer as merely a tool to accomplish more efficiently takes that were already being done,” says McCloud. We have transformed the skills and mechanisms of artists in our past. The simple stroke used to paint A Starry Night, or the unique and creative approach Salvador Dalí took when he painted Melting Clocks. One of my favorite quotes of Scott McCloud’s article is that “even the art destined for the screen can benefit from the study of old masters…but to choose computers as one’s primary art making took is to choose an almost superhuman palette of options… and to devote is to merely imitating their predecessors is a bit like hunting rabbits with a battleship.” He is basically trying to tell readers, that you need to use all the tools that you were giving and that is not just the concrete ones you may be using in your hand. Your mind, your experiences, and most importantly your learned observations can aid you in bringing art from the past and transforming it into an appealing technique of the present. Andy Warhol was an artist most known for his printing technique in which is took a picture, replicated it onto the same palette, and changed the color schemes. Today it has been modernly transformed and used in wall papers and t-shirts. An art from the past that allowed computer technology to bring it to the modern day. Perhaps we can no longer connect with art in the same way they were able to in the past. However, what I can say is that each person to this day remains isolated, as they were then, in their own connection to art, and to me, that says that appreciation of art, is not lost. Not when it forever holds the power to allow us to feel.