Friday, September 11, 2009

Immersion into Art and the Crap Behind It

Oh goodness, I haven't written in forever. I know why. The reason is always the same. Too much to say. No time to say it. Might as well just mindlessly click on facebook and look at pictures:) haha. Which is one of the reasons why i am home on a friday night- i've got a load of art history research to do! In a sense, i am loving this class, because everyday is one step closer to my last day of learning and pretending to care about art history. I would never tell anyone in the art community this, but i find the study of art history (most of art history) to be a huge waste of time. Not because i think studying history itself is a huge waste of time. not at all. but when you are studying art in a particular historical setting, you are studying the effects of history on art. What bothers me about this is that there are so many other subjects i'd rather be focusing on in, for instance, the Renaissance era, than its art and the "meaning" behind the art. The only way we contemporary artists (and all ppl i guess:) haha) can study this is through the eyes of the rich. because the rich were the only literate ones and thus the only "voice" we can hear from. What about the peasants? did art mean lickety-split to them as they farmed and labored all the livelong day? C'mon people. Studying art history the way it is commonly taught is akin to a future generation studying only the works of art displayed in the White House and Paris Hilton's mansion (so, MANY large imposing images of Paris everywhere). The high society's idea of art is NOT what will truly define this era we live in today. It's us. the peasants. haha just kidding we are totally not peasants. well, maybe we are. that's a whole nother subject:) Anyways, so i'm doing my art history homework on devotional artwork of the Renaissance in Northern Europe (ya jealous yet?), and it just started to get good.
Chapter 11's focus is on the Protestant Reformation and Calvinism, etc. and their impact on the Catholic Church's worship of imagery. Listen to what Albrecht Durer, arguably the most influential artist of his time, says in "The Art of Measurement" (1525):

And they [all eager students of Art] will not be misled by those now amongst us who, in our own day, revile the Art of Painting and say that it is the servant to idolatry. For a Christian would no more be led to superstition by a picture or effigy than an honest man to commit murder because he carries a weapon by his side. He must indeed be an unthinking man who would worship picture, wood or stone. A picture therefore brings more good than harm, when it is honourably, artistically and well made.

Wow, that's good stuff. to me at least. By the way, when did we start taking out the "u"s in words like "honour"? That's so elegant. C'mon america.

Well, tune in next time. I've got tons of thoughts you just gotta know;) Like, for instance, the new addition to our home (my cousin taylor) and the stories that go along with that, my slippery sloped path to romance, and have i put any of my artwork up here yet? I need to. I finally deem it worthy enough to be seen.

1 comment:

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

Thanks for visiting my blog --- looking forward to reading yours!