Defining Art – Discussion 21

They say that most great ideas begin and end in art. Man has always had the inherent need to express – and anything which carries the the power of expression is  ruled to be art.  A illustration of this idea was the presentation by Rajeena on two of the most prominent architects of our time.

Damian Hirst , the controversial British artist was the first to be featured. His most famous work , titled “The physical impossibility of death in the name of someone living” features a real shark with its mouth open floating in Formaldehyde solution. While the initial impact of the formaldehyde sculpture is intense , it raises questions with regards to the nature of art if it is as easily reproduce able as this “pickled shark”.  Damian’s “For the Love of God” skull is a brutal (and expensive) expression of the reality of Death , which is the topic that Damian chose to explore to the maximum. Other examples of Damian’s art such as spot painting- which are rows of randomly colored circles and Spin paintings further illustrate the architect’s spontaneous and revolutionary ideas.

Akbar Padamsee was the famous Indian artist that Rajeena chose to explore. Padamsee’s work defies easy categorization as  his work is at the same time figurative , abstract , Indian and universal , flamboyant and rigorous. The most famous of his work are the metascapes – that he defines as “two dimensional” perspectives. The metascapes are extremely sophisticated in terms of their treatment of colors , exploration of relationships between  complimentary colors and the creation of spaced and boundaries within the canvas. Padamsee creates metascapes to convey a variety of expressions and moods.

The discussion that ensued after the presentation explored the  idea of art. While a group was of the opinion that objects that create a mere shock value , such as Damian’s shark cannot be really considered art – and if it were to considered so , the samples found in biology labs should also be treated as artworks. In fact ,almost everything in nature will have to bear the distinction of being art. They insisted that Art must spring for a basic idea – the crystallization  of which might involve the creation of something that bears the stamp of its creator and invokes a response in the minds of the viewers.

Another group was of the opinion – that anything – even the samples from one’s biology lab – can be termed art if presented in a way that invokes any sort of impact on a viewer. They insisted that art belied barrier or medium – and that a pickled shark , or a diamond studded skull is as artful as a beautiful painting by Picasso.

However, everyone agreed on the point that art , whatever the medium and nature , was integral to architects as design is an extremely broad and interdependent discipline. The birth of new ideas often begin in art and spread into architecture , often beginning revolutions in the field of architecture , such is the power of the art.

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