Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Introduction to Conceptual Art: "Seriously?"

Tower Bridge, 1906 

Have you even thought of how the world is perceived by various representatives of animal kingdom? For example, bees see through yellow and ultraviolet light, which allows them to observe a completely different dimensions of our conventional reality; it is very different from the way humankind perceives the world. Now, let's say that there is a specific kind of people, which perceives the life and various aspects of it in a completely different, often bizarre, fashion; the category of such unique individuals is called artists. Be it through the juxtaposition of hue and texture or shapes and dimensions, the people of art envision the reality of ordinary aspects through the creativity lens, which magnifies or exaggerates reality by an infinite number of digits. For example, the same way bees see through the ultraaviolet light, the artists like Andr√© Derain can envision grey industrial 19th century London through the utilization of vibrant colors and kinetic brushstrokes that instill energy and movement to the two-dimensional surface of a mere canvas. 
Fountain, 1919

To go further, I will ask you another rhetorical question, which will perhaps puzzle your perception: have you ever imagined that a urinal can be an object of art? I am not going to be surprised if the majority thinks that this question is unable to prevent a prompt response,  which is an unhesitant "no." I agree, it may be shocking, but a urinal is a prominent artwork, which serves as an icon of 20th century conceptual art. You may also wonder "am I being serious?", certainly yes! Fountain (1919) is one of the most famous pieces by the dada artist Marcel Duchamp, who was a famous French painter and sculptor. It was enough for the artist to decide to go to the plumbing supply house, called Mott, and purchase an ordinary "readymade" urinal not for the sake of utilizing it for its indeed function, but challenge the conventional norms and create a work of art by simply signing it "R. Mott, 1917." The artist claimed it to be a sculpture, which completely refuted the common conceptions about heroic academic monuments, which convey deep philosophical meaning. But is not art a transformation of ordinary materials into a mind riddle or a clue, which allows our mind to perceive the conceptual reality from the perspective of an artist, and after all, urinal is not a fountain and an opposite from the definition of something aesthetic. Does art have to be made by the hand of an artist? Should art be forced to comply a certain criteria, such as being pleasing and aesthetic?

Is it even for you to decide? 

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