8 thoughts on “Anonymity and Art

  1. Interesting. What art are you talking/thinking about? What IS art? Anything in a museum of art? Anything that has been curated?

    “Let’s take for granted that good art, beyond mere technical skill, is an expression of the artist’s soul.”

    OK. What’s a soul?

    “And that, I argue, is at least two things: authenticity and anonymity.”

    OK. But why is this post not anonymous?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Drat, you hit all three!

      1) Let’s say anything meant to elicit an emotional reaction through widely agreed upon aesthetic/literary techniques.

      2) …

      3) Because I am trying to appeal to logic! But perhaps all opinions should be anonymous for the same reason… I don’t think so enough to try and too insignificant in the world of opinions for it to matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the reply.

    I have always liked Bob’s ideas about soul. E.g.,
    One of the attractions of the UU approach to religion and life is caught in the assertion that divinity and spirit are to be found not through blind faith but through finding and sending down roots to the deepest part of one’s unique self. As is true in botany, those roots spread out into the wider community and can nourish us and give us a healthy life. How do we know when we are living in the best place for those roots to grow? In so much as we do indeed “grow a soul” we should consider carefully the garden in which that soul grows.
    There is a Jewish story which I understand from an online source is often shared in UU pulpits It is the story of the great Rabbi Zusha, who was found agitated and upset as he lay on deathbed. His students asked, “Rebbe, why are you so sad? After all the great things you have accomplished, your place in heaven is assured!” “I’m afraid!” Zusha replied, “Because when I get to heaven, God won’t ask me ‘Why weren’t you more like Moses?’ or ‘Why weren’t you more like King David?’ God will ask ‘Zusha, why weren’t you more like Zusha?’ And then what will I say!?”
    This story reminds us of the power of particularity. Knowing our unique self doesn’t just feel good; it can set us free, offering a heaven that is not an escape from this life, but that comes about when we finally grow into the life that is truly ours.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You argue that art should be anonymous so that people’s appreciation of it is not biased.

    This assumes that anyone’s judgment is corrupted by popularity of the artist. I am not so sure this is the case, Jess. Most people I know dislike the fat figures of Botero or think Andy Warhol can not be taken seriously; two examples that come to mind.

    Art is, to put it poetically (this clarification is for sfualum 😊), an expression of soul and so I think knowing the person behind the art (NOT just how popular he is) helps us understand and appreciate. Think of Frida Kahlo. When I learn the story behind the art, my viewing of her art gained more feeling. Same with the somber poems of Silvia Plath and same with the Campbell Soup of Warhol which I totally despised at first.

    Art can be corrupted by profit, certainly. But I trust when it comes to appreating art, the common joe is not prone to popularity pressures. This might not be the case with art judges…?

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree that not everyone’s sense is not corrupted by popularity, but that the artist’s popularity influences the general public’s/society’s perception of the art (for or against – like with someone who finds warhol overrated) and as a result either puts it on an undeserved pedestal or buries is – in either case where it might not be if the artist had nothing to do with it. I think we have more to gain than we have to lose by artists remaining anonymous. One of the exceptions is when someone’s life story is a work of art, and the art they express is in order to tell that story, and so then their identity is important (but then again, can you preserve/display the story without making a celebrity out of them?).

      Liked by 1 person

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