Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What's In An Artist's Name Anyways?

What's in an artist's name anyways?

In "The work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," Walter Benjamin concludes that, "During long periods of history, the mode of human sense perception changes with humanity's entire mode of existence. The manner in which human sense perception is organized, the medium in which it is accomplished, is determined not on by nature but by historical circumstances as well."

This scene is taken out of Mona Lisa Smile (watch the video until 1:50) which takes place in the 1950's and focus's on challenging the ways women view their societal duties. In this scene teacher Katherine Watson uses the example of Van van Gogh to show students just how society takes and copies someone else's work for profit. "You don't need to own an original," she states, instead just do a paint by numbers on your own and take credit for your new work of art. The historical circumstances that I was reminded of is the fact that van Gogh didn't get popular until after he was dead. Meaning that others got were able to capitalize on someone else's hard work and not even have to "pay the piper".

Fast forward from the 50's to today and the idea of paint by numbers has further evolved into something completely different in this day and age. For example all the memes you see with with the same picture but different wording are copies. An even better example though, are all the options you can choose to have one artists work of art placed on almost anything you desire.

Society 6 Website
What form of art would you most enjoy Tiger III by Riza Peker in? A mug, a tote, or perhaps a pillow. The options are endless. Art can take whatever form you want it to these days, thanks to the ease of mechanical reproduction and I won't lie, having so many options of ways to enjoy people's art is amazing and I love having that available.

This brings me to my question to you about having so many different options for one piece of art: Is having art so easily replicated depreciating its value? Or do you think instead, it offers more ways to appreciate it? Do different mediums of art hold more value than others and who gets to decide?

I think it's great we have so many different ways to appreciate art. At the end of the day, mostly I just hope that people will continue to create new things with their own style and not lose the art of being unique in their own way.

1 comment:

  1. Cydnee, I looked at a very similar idea. I do believe that though the replication of art may give an artist a bigger name or value over time, the item being mass printed is losing it's value and overall unique feeling. I do believe that in some aspects we do value various mediums more valuable than others, but I'm not sure who would be a person who can say which is more valuable than others. I do see that products could be seen as more or less valuable by the time they take to create or develop.