Objectivity

Home / Education / ARChives / Foundational Discussions

Objectivity

From Virgil Elliott

Published before 2005


Rubik Kocharian wrote:
I don't agree with the half-educated viewer (or less than half), who looks at the art work and rejects it because it's above his/her brainwashing or understandings about how "art should be." It's the "accurate execution" mingled with some basic understanding of few principles used by artists in the past, that makes these viewers feel like "judges" on art. These art-specialists need serious training. They should look more (every day) into classical art of the past. Only then they will come to understand that copies from photographs (corrected by Photoshop) require very little skill. It's a shame to consider it as artistic skill. It's a magazine cover taste. The king is naked again!

Rubik,

I think we ought to stay aware of who will be the audience looking at our work. It will not be looked at by people of the 19th century, 18th century, 17th century, or 16th century. It will be people of the 21st century and into the future, some of whom will remember the 20th century, but not any farther back than we ourselves can remember, and most of them not as far. Art itself can perform an educational function, so if, as you say, the audience needs educating, artists will need to connect with them first, in a way that will interest them. I maintain that this will require highly convincing imagery. Not necessarily accurate, but convincing in its realistic aspect, whatever else it might be. I doubt that anything else will make much of an impression on them, inured as they are to photographic images, television and movies. That does not mean that nothing else is important, of course, but only that imagery of the kinds that once inspired awe in people of the past, who had not seen more realistic imagery, is not necessarily going to produce the same result in the viewers of today and tomorrow. This is a pictorially jaded audience, but one that is at the same time deprived, in large measure, of highly artistic imagery. We have our work cut out for us. I recognize the need for a high degree of realism, i.e., convincing aspect, in painting which also incorporates all the qualities of high art, in the interest of bringing to our viewers an awareness of true Quality. If it is done well, it can indeed be educational, to a greater extent than I feel is possible with verbal treatises, at least as regards matters of visual aesthetics.

Virgil