Letter to ARC

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Letter to ARC

From Friedl Otto

Published before 2005


Dear ARC I am at a loss for words. The logical calculating cogs of my scientific education are not designed to express emotive content fluently. To be honest, I am on the verge of tears. I have found home!

At a very young age I instinctively knew what I liked and why I liked it. Somehow abstract expressionism never featured in my ‘like-list’. I have always gotten into arguments that artists like Michaelangelo Buonarotti, Diego Velasquez, Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Lord Fredric Leighton et. al. were not simply mechanical versions of the camera, but extremely dedicated, highly talented observers who spent their entire lives perfecting the process of rendering what was observed onto a permanent medium. Besides that, they were students of colour, light, texture, physics, anatomy, posture and emotion. Yet every time I encounter someone with a mild affinity for art they all spout the theoretical hogwash generated by a class of art-reject called ‘the art critic’.

I am an M.Sc. Computer Science student. This may seem odd, since I have a keen interest in classical music, art and sculpture. The reason for this may be that my father (a commercial artist and illustrator) swore that he would disown me if I considered a career in the corrupt and unethical world of art. So now I lecture subjects like Multimedia and Graphics. It appears that I have gone via the digital medium back to my genetic roots. Yet finding people of similar taste has proven a depressing tale of failure. Every single person I know is either not at all interested in art or too ‘artsy’ to hold a brush straight.

So all I can say is “Thank you” ...

Friedl Otto, South Africa