Stories From A Yellow Room

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What's Art all about??

“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”
I joined the art appreciation course at National Museum, being devoid of any artistic talent. Having no particular notion of what the course beheld for me, I would like to state that sometimes not-knowing is better than knowing. The course spanned over twenty classes setting forth significant eras and periods where man’s artistic talent gave birth to some of the most historic creations in the world.
Talking from a naïve point of view, all of us travel to or visit places of historical importance. We see magnificent monuments, accompanied by local guides; we stand in front of a piece of art and allow our varied senses to appreciate the presence of that work. But rarely do we allow ourselves to enter the period the work belongs to. It is by doing that, that we can truly understand the challenges of construction, social constraints on individual artists and the ideological representation of the work etc.
Having attended the course, I respect now the aesthetic and thought behind each and every work of art. From being naïve and completely un-‘enlightened’ about the history, sources and thought behind a piece of art, I came to realize the vision and sheer passion of an artist. Be it the artists who painted the Ajanta caves, devoid of any modern day methodology of pursuing their skill or the architectural brilliance of the Blue Mosque in Turkey, what they (artists\architects) achieved was timeless works of art, that froze in time, giving it a life, a spirit and identity of it’s own. An artist, a man, a mere mortal, constantly tries to immortalize him\herself through his\her work of art. Centuries later we bring alive the artist, through his work, studying the socio-political aspect of his time, carefully observing the intent of the artist, the mind of the artist.
Through this course we set forth on a journey moving to and fro, through various periods of art, studying the epitome of perfection that mankind reached by putting forth his skills as an artist. Canvases were given a life through a drop of paint, temples and mosques bedecked to awe inspiring brilliance. Ordinary was transformed into the extraordinary as man toiled and paid attention to decorative aspects of the plainness around him.
Having studied different regions, cultures, religions we saw that no work of art is independent of meaning and relativity. Every gesture, posture or symmetry has a meaning be it religious, mathematical, mythical or superstitious. Art then becomes a medium of expressing the attitude, belief and splendour of every culture. Kings and dynasties savoured good pieces of art and architecture. It is through this vision and taste we see today symbols of such devotion towards one’s vision for art. The gigantic Taj Mahal, a monument of extraordinary perfection, the pyramids of Egypt, Eiffel tower, all representing different era’s, different artists and distinct belief yet disseminating the same sense of craftsmanship and creativity .
Some of my favourite moments were classes on Modern Art. Modernism a movement invented to capture the very complex and evolving mind of man, who now moved beyond the traditional representation of life to a more abstract level of self-expression, produced some of the most ethereal works. Works of contemporaries such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Pollock, Seraut, Cezzane, Warhol etc, were innovative as well as distinct.
Thus Art is something not limited purely to Art lovers. Anyone and everyone can actually enjoy art in any shape or form. All you need is an open mind and a sight that respects the vision that it sees.

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