Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about why art can’t be photographed.
In this entry, I will ignore the issue of copyright, and taking pictures of art directly. Instead, I will talk about the reproduction of art in general. I will explain why I do not think that the reproduction of artworks is a bad thing. In fact, I will be arguing why I think that reproducing art is actually a very good thing.
Before I go forward with this argument, I would like to go back. Way back.
In the 1935 essay “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Walter Benjamin wrote about the mechanical reproduction of art, and the damaging effect this had on tradition and value. Reproduction was seen as a threat to the authenticity of a piece of art. He made use of the word “aura” to describe this value.
Continue reading Why Reproductions Are Good for Art
In my last post, Wasted Time? Business Advice from Art Blogs, I talked about the repetition of advice that was so common on the art blogs I came across during my research. They all presented lists of advice, and the advice was always the same.
One piece of advice that came up everywhere was the importance of blogging. Every single art blog stresses the importance of blogging. The advice reads like this: If you aren’t blogging already, start yesterday. If you are blogging, blog more!
I know that I went into art because I am a visual thinker. I’m a Modernist at heart, believing that a medium should focus on its specific areas of competence. Ideas that are best expressed through words should be expressed as words, and ideas best expressed though images should be expressed through images. The ideas that are in my paintings are the ideas that I don’t know how to put into words. If I could say it better than I could paint it, I’d have written about it.
I suspect that a good number of my fellow artists are also primarily visual thinkers. Visual thinkers can best express themselves though images, not words. In fact, based on the vast majority of artist’s statements that I’ve come across, I’d suspect that many artists aren’t really familiar with words at all, and I’d like to suggest that they stay very far away from them in the future.
Some of the worst writing I have ever seen came from an artist. And thats fine. Not every writer is a great artist, and not every artist has to be a great writer. But these art blogs are telling artists, telling visual thinkers, that they have to write about their art, and write a lot.
So, when everyone is saying “blog blog blog, then blog some more!”, The easiest thing for a person wanting to take that advice is rewording and repackaging what has already been said. The temptation to copy and paste other articles, do a quick re-write, and hit ‘post’ is very understandable. I’d do it too if it wasn’t for that little Modernist inside my head screaming, “be more original than that!”.
Continue reading Wasted Time? Repeated advice from Art Blogs