Does this make you smile? It makes me smile because I know that this child is learning about art. Not how to make it in this instance, but how to appreciate it. I wrote a post earlier this year about this topic of children and art, The Value of Art, and I wanted to use this photo of Chikano to move you parents (uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc.) to action.
Nietzsche wrote that the artist’s goal is to paint:
“All nature faithfully”- but by what feint
Can Nature be subdued to Arts’ constraint?
Her smallest fragment is still infinite:
And so he paints what he likes in it,
And what does he like? He likes what he can paint!
The authors Lawrence Leshan and Henry Margenau in “Einstein’s Space & Van Gogh’s Sky” write that; “The possibilities open to artists are also limited by the cultural viewpoint within which they live. Each culture makes certain approaches to the infinite possible. It makes other approaches impossible or incomprehensible. A cartoon published several years ago showed a studio of a Renaissance painter. A large number of typical paintings of the period stood about and hung on the walls. In a corner was the famed Mondrian painting of 1921, Composition with Red Yellow and Blue. The painter was explaining it to a friend. “Oh, that’s just something I tried which didn’t work out.” Of those attempts at the organization of reality made by its artists each culture selects some as “successful” and rejects others. What the culture selects then helps shape that culture.”
This to me is the fundamental reason for the study of the arts throughout history. If the culture is not knowledgable about art history then it can not reasonably value the work of current artists in shaping the culture.
More from “Einstein’s Space & Van Gogh’s Sky”; ” Art introduces us to new ways of perceiving and reacting to the world. The artist knows that there is no one correct way to perceive. He searches for new ways so that we may see the world differently. He seeks new and different views of reality, and when he is successful in his search, the culture learns to perceive with his new view.”
Art is a reality that needs to be taught. Preferably at a young age. It will change the way that a child views the world and our collective culture. I think that this is important because the future of the arts is at stake. What happened after the Greek culture collapsed? It took the Romans, centuries later, to rediscover their cultural legacy. What happened after the Roman culture collapsed? It took the Renaissance, centuries later, to rediscover their cultural legacy. The value of art is in the appreciation and that takes learning, or in the case of children, teaching.
A box of chocolates help too….