Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our different approaches to Art and Art Making

So I have been thinking about types of artistic talent.  What differentiates the talent of Van Gogh, for instance from the type of artistic talent Norman Rockwell possessed, for instance?  It is terrific that there is different types of artistic talent because there are all different tastes when it comes to the what people like to look at.

"Child with Orange", oil on canvas, 51.0 x 50.0 cm, June, 1890.
Private collection (before March 2008 in the collection of L. Jäggli-Hahnloser, Switzerland).  
March 2008 offered for 20 million Euro at the Tefaf in Maastricht
This child is Raoul, the son of his neighbour in Auvers, carpenter Vincent Lever 

If an artist has a "job" to do, a purpose in the world, what would it be?  One thing I believe it is, and this is only one thing of course, is to give us a way of seeing deeper or more profoundly at what is around us.  When a painting is painted or a sculpture created or music composed magic is added to the sounds and sights of the everyday world; color and vibrancy or darkness and tragedy is brought to what we see; a singular moment in time is frozen in an artwork that has some certain quality about it enhanced.
Max J. Friedlander, wrote in his book "On Art and Connoisseurship" that (and I am borrowing this paraphrasing of Friedlander's book from Dr. Jose Rodiero's webpage)
The distinction between an artist that has “grit,” “shit,” or ugliness and one that has mere “beauty” is similar to the artistic differentiation between what constitutes an artist of genius and what constitutes an artist of talent; an aesthetic duality first argued and developed by German art historian Max J. Friedländer in the 1930s, through which he explicitly identified certain artists as “fighters” while others he deemed “victors,” regarding their disparate approach to art and art-making.   For Friedlander, “fighters” are artist with overwhelming genius but little talent (i.e., Bosch, El Greco, Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Goya, Van Gogh, Bocklin or Ryder), while “victors” have much more talent than genius (i.e., Memling, Carracci, Reni, Mengs, Bouguereau, Gérôme, Wyeth or Norman Rockwell).  Everything in art comes easily to the “victors,” while “fighters” fight to create, struggling with everything and everyone, including themselves, existence, nature, the universe or the duende.  Occasionally, a few great artists have equal portions of genius and talent, such as Michelangelo or Raphael.  Yet, even among those two giants; it is clear that the Florentine is the fighter, while the Umbrian is the victor.
-Dr. J. Rodiero
Interesting things to think over about the art we create, isn't it?
Hope you are having an enjoyable Saturday.
Talk with you tomorrow :)
His First Scouting Calendar 1925

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