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    Photogravure etchings at www.kamprint.com and http://kamprint.com/xpress/

    Photogravure etchings at www.kamprint.com and http://kamprint.com/xpress/

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    Photogravure etchings at http://kamprint.com/ & http://kamprint.com/xpress/

    Photogravure etchings at http://kamprint.com/ & http://kamprint.com/xpress/

What is art good for?

The Big Picture. A tsunami of data washes over us every day. Is it any wonder that public leaders fail to ‘connect the dots’? These intelligence failures are really failures of pattern recognition — an inability to see the ‘big picture’. Imagination is not some peripheral feelgood activity, it is actually essential for survival.

Perspective.   Sometimes the ‘big picture’ can only be seen with multiple perspectives, another artistic skill of value to everyone. Not only do various groups have radically different perspectives, they live in different worlds. In art, these mutually invisible points of view are incorporated into a coherent vision. Such artwork is often a necessary prelude to their integration in reality.

The Craft Instinct.   Art is about making things. Like any manufactured object, a picture should have conviction, coherence, and a quality of design and execution that makes it worthy of use. Art-making builds an appreciation of craft, and a kind of hands-on understanding that is otherwise unobtainable.

Innovation.  It’s axiomatic that art is creative, but much of what passes for art is imitative, derivative, mannered, contrived, and boring. Artists when they are truly creative add to the stock of available reality, expanding the universe of possibilities we have to work with.

Mistakes.  This may seem an odd answer to ‘What is art good for?’, but mistakes properly understood are the best teachers. If the etching or the printing fails, the problem is always traceable to something I did or failed to do. I can’t blame anyone else. This realization enables me to find a solution, and is a template for similar efforts outside the workshop.

Enjoyment.   Beauty has been exiled to the remotest corners of the contemporary art world. Disparaged by the cognoscenti, mocked by the heavily advertised trend-setters, ignored by the paragons of State Art,  nevertheless undying love of beauty is one of the best-kept secrets of the art world. While the super-rich punish themselves with the ‘transgressive’ toxic-waste dump of contemporary art, the rest of us still enjoy a well-crafted composition evoking pleasant memories or prospects. Folks, there’s no need to apologize for that preference.

Printed from: http://www.kamprint.com/views/?p=179 .
© Peter Miller 2018.