Saturday, 21 January 2012

Negative Press

When a child creates something, they aren’t usually concerned by developing a concept, perfecting technical skills or expanding on thought processes and ideas. They usually create for the sake of creating, as a form of entertainment, communication, enjoyment. This could perhaps be argued to be the truest form of art. However one could argue that this is not art at all as it isn’t aimed at an art world public nor was it created to be a work of art in the conventional sense. The direct and unschooled was given sharp focus in the French situation by Dubuffet’s ‘Art Brut’. This was initially a form of celebration of the vitality and truth to be found in graffiti and in the art of children and of the insane. In turn, Dubuffet and others pursued this vitality and authenticity in their own art.1

Some artists feel, when confronted with negative press or a lack of interest that they should try to produce work similar to that of current or relevant artists who appear to be doing well for themselves. This ‘tendency to give up the independence of one’s own individual self and to fuse one’s self with somebody or something outside oneself in order to acquire the strength which the individual self is lacking’2 is often noticed by those in the art world and is considered copycat, as the artist is no longer being true to themselves, attempting to substitute what they lack with something they’ve stolen from someone else. Sometimes however this is considered not to be plagiarism but to be a smart move on the plagiarists’ part if the idea develops into a better work of art than the original work pertaining to the idea.

1. Harrison, Charles & Wood, Paul, Art in theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002) 559.
2. Fromm, Erich, 1900-1980 Fear of Freedom (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960) 121.