Rules Should Not Be Given To Artists analysis


My understanding of Ben Shahn is that he is very disliking of the fact that some artists are taught how to be an artist rather than just being their kind of artist themselves.  If not that then he is simply comparing the fact that some artists are taught in college and schooling certain ways and skills in their artistry, rather than simply using their own skill and self-talent.  It occurred to me that most of the classes I have really allow my personality and ability to come through.  With class, we are allowed to let our personalities to escape in our artwork, but with guidelines in which we learn technique.  Not technique in how we go about completing the project, but in composition, spacing, and other such “ingredients.”  To me, it is very necessary and I think very important that we do not give rules to art.  Is that not what makes art?  It surely seems that that would be what gives us different art periods and movements.  If we do not have change how could artists such as Monet, Picasso and Dali be so different and yet so accepted?

I must say that I do agree with Shahn in saying that colleges can change true artists way of artistry.  They do seem to mold in some cases a person’s actual and true talent and skill.  It seems that some could make it on their own without having any higher education and teachings.  However, I do know that had I not pursued a higher education, I would not make it as a photographer.  The only problems I seem to have with this is that I do not want to be molded into my professor’s way of doing the work.  The other day in a class, the professor told us that he did not want to show us how to do the project, but he did want us to do it the “right way.”  I did not know that artists had right ways and wrong ways of doing work.  Should there be right ways??  I personally think that there should not be.  However, we students at the universities and colleges are being taught the “right ways” and “wrong ways” of art.  It seems almost hypocritical that this would occur.

Society also molds into us what is acceptable and what is the “right ways” in artistry.  Whatever is appealing at the moment and whatever seems to be the new highly different way is what seems to be acceptable.  Although I cannot name any artists in this style, I think my next example is a decent instance of what I mean.  Say an artist buys a canvas and some oil paint.  He goes to his studio and works on this canvas.  It is seen my one or two individuals from the art scene.  They fall in love with it and therefore it is placed in a gallery along with more works of this same nature.  As a viewer, I walk into the gallery and see large pieces of canvas hung on the wall with splatters and drips of paint all over them.  Societies and communities along with individuals with high prestige are telling me that this is excellent and marvelous artwork.  I frankly find it very elementary and think that I could have my two-year-old cousin do just as marvelous of a piece of work.  Is society right and I wrong? How can we ever know what is truly a marvelous piece of work?  The society tells us what is acceptable and what should be praised and worshipped as grandiose.

An artist, or a person studying and aiming to be an artist for that matter, is molded and influenced greatly by his background and environment.  I think that had I not grown up in such a beautiful area, I would not be here today studying to be a photographer.  I really feel that there is so much out there worthwhile looking at that a normal person does not take the time to take in and see completely.  Growing up in a small rural town has made me want to venture out and see things and capture the things I can see so that I can remember them for a lifetime.  Traveling to Spain and Mexico were very important eye openers for me.  I knew that there was another world out there besides central Pennsylvania, however I could not see it or feel it.  By traveling and seeing them in person, by photographing my experiences, I can remember it for a lifetime.  Pictures will not fade away.  Nor will my background and my hometown with its Amish and farms, its mountains and lakes, its beauty.

As an artist, I hope that I can capture images on film that will enable the world and viewers to think differently about what they are seeing.  To enjoy the mood I am attempting to get across.  I hope that I improve well enough to be able to influence the minds of others and to change what they are looking and make them remember it forever.  Why should I keep it to myself if it is wonderful enough to share with everyone else?  It would be a beautiful thing if I could get into their minds what is fishing in mine at the current moment.

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