This is an inaugural post to this sub-section of my blog, simply titled Art. Simple though that word might be, it is, as we know defined by the eye of the beholder. I have attempted to offer a brief description of the purpose of this blog, and I offer it here again: A place dedicated to highlight and celebrate my love of art– especially my personal collections in various media ranging from lithographs and oils, to folk-art from around the world. Plus, news and information on lovers of art and those who create it.
Furthermore, I wish to share also Oscar Wilde’s preface to his book titled The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde offers an interesting take on how he views art and what possibly comprises it; the approach of the viewer and creator of it; and the purpose of art itself. An excerpt of this preface follows :
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.
The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.
From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor’s craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.