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in s ym pathy for Picas s o, whos e grues om e, dis torted figures m us t be a reflection of his m ental health. Then,
s tanding in front of a work by Charlie Rus s ell, the fam ous Wes tern artis t, they'll declare it a work of God. People
feel m ore com fortable with s om ething they can relate to and unders tand im m ediately without too m uch thought.
This is the cas e with the work of Charlie Rus s ell. Being able to recognize the elem ents in his paintings --trees ,
hors es and cowboys -gives people a s afety line to their world of "reality". There are s om e who would dis agree
when I s ay abs tract art requires m ore creativity and artis tic talent to produce a good piece than does
repres entational art, but there are m any weaknes s es in their argum ents .
People who look down on abs tract art have s everal m ajor argum ents to s upport their beliefs . They feel that
artis ts turn abs tract becaus e they are not capable of the technical drafting s kills that appear in a Rus s ell;
therefore, s uch artis ts create an art form that anyone is capable of and that is les s tim e cons um ing, and then
parade it as artis tic progres s . Secondly, they feel that the purpos e of art is to create s om ething of beauty in an
orderly, logical com pos ition. Rus s ell's com pos itions are balanced and rational, everything s its calm ly on the
canvas , leaving the viewer s atis fied that he has s een all there is to s ee. The m odem abs tractionis ts , on the
other hand, s eem to com pos e their pieces irrationally. For exam ple, upon s eeing Picas s o's Guernica, a friend
of m ine as ked m e, "What's the point?" Finally, m any people feel that art s hould portray the ideal and real. The
exactnes s of detail in Charlie Rus s ell's work is an exam ple of this . He has been called a great his torian
becaus e his pieces depict the life s tyle, dres s , and events of the tim es . His s ubject m atter is derived from his
own experiences on the trail, and reproduced to the s m alles t detail.
I agree in part with m any of thes e argum ents , and at one tim e even endors ed them . But now, I believe
differently. Firs tly I object to the argum ent that abs tract artis ts are not capable of drafting. Many abs tract artis ts ,
s uch as Picas s o, are excellent drafts m en. As his work m atured, Picas s o becam e m ore abs tract in order to
increas e the expres s ive quality of his work. Guernica was m eant as a protes t agains t the bom bing of that city by
the Germ ans . To expres s the terror and s uffering of the victim s m ore vividly, he dis torted the figures and
pres ented them in a black and white journalis tic m anner. If he had us ed repres entational im ages and colour,
m uch of the em otional content would have been los t and the piece would not have caus ed the dem and for
jus tice that it did. Secondly, I do not think that a piece m us t be logical and aes thetically pleas ing to be art. The
m es s age it conveys to its viewers is m ore im portant. It s hou...
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This document was uploaded on 03/23/2014.
- Summer '14