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January 31, 2020 / Congau

The Artistic Moment

Every art has its medium. A painter handles paint, a composer uses tones etc. That constitutes the general language of the artist and obviously it is indispensable when creating his particular form of art. A painting could not be translated into a piece of music and not into a text of mere words. (If one tries to convert between the forms of art, and that is sometimes done, it’s a matter of interpretation and not translation.)

That means that whatever preliminary work an artist does before sitting down to produce his art, it is not really a part of his unique creation. This may seem like an insignificant pedantic point, but I hold that it’s important to make clear where the originality of a piece of art is to be found. After all, originality is the essence of art, that is commonly understood, but misconceptions about its locality have led to the unfortunate practice of artists trying to outbid each other in coming up with spectacular schemes.

The planning of a work of art is not art. If it were, the artist could be someone else than the artist. Suppose I, who can hardly draw a stickman, suggested to a painter an unusual motive for a painting, who would be the artist of the finished work, me or the painter? The painter, of course, and entirely him.

Art is being created when the particular language of that art is spoken, and in the above example the language is paint. The artistic moment of a painter occurs when he is painting since the original idea he may express, can only be uttered in the painting language.

Art is idea, but it is not an idea that can be transmitted independently of an art. Only at the artistic moment is art created.

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