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1. Introduction to art history: So what is art ?

What’s art ? This perhaps is one of the most difficult and most likely one of the most boring questions you can ask so we’ll start from a different point of view, namely that of a person who doesn’t know a thing about art or even plainly dislikes art. Whether he likes it or not, he’ll most likely still be able to name a few works of art.

Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci (I’ve read the da Vinci code !) – Some Dull Woman

Convergence
Probably somebody’s 3-year-old-son – Random paint on canvas

And in fact he’s right.

The Mona Lisa in today’s world is just a dull portrait of a smiling lady. If anything, the painting next to it in the Louvre is far more impressive, don’t you think ? My guess that one is the painting that gets the least attention of all the 300 000 works in the Louvre. And just for fun: the Mona Lisa in Lego, Mona Lisa recreated in MS Paint and Mona Pulp Fiction.

And the second painting indeed is just some random paint on a canvas. It could’ve been done by somebody’s three-year-old son (or daughter for that matter although there aren’t that many famous female artists) but in reality it was done by the American artist Jackson Pollock. You can see his delicate painting process here. And if you’d really like to create your own “Jackson Pollock” the internet has a solution as well.

So if I don’t like the dull paintings and I certainly hate this pretentious modern art, is there any art out there I will like ? And how did we ever get from the first painting to the second one ? And aren’t we forgetting some art in different times and cultures ?

This entry was posted on Friday, October 12th, 2007 at 2:18 am and is filed under Art, Introduction to art history. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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