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artist/craftsperson



>Did I call anyone an idiot?  I don't think so.  I was just saying that it
>doesn't take a genius to heave a bucket of paint on the wall and call it
>art, that is a fact.  I doubt there's a single person without significant
>disabilities that couldn't find a large wall, take the lid off a bucket of
>paint, and throw the bucket at the wall.  It's a fairly simple act,
>requiring almost no skill.
>
>- ---
>Paul Anderson - Self-employed Megalomaniac

This, I believe, points EXACTLY to the difference between the artist and
the craftsperson.  The FIRST person who threw a paint bucket at the wall
was an artist--challenging our notions about what art is. Throwing the
paint DIDN'T take skill--but thinking to do so DID.  AFTERWARDS, every
other "idiot" who threw a bucket in hopes of making art, is a craftsperson,
following a recipe the first artist figured out.

Art is a metaphor that speaks about the experience of existence.  Craft is
the execution, the making, of an object.  We admire a craftsperson who
"does a good job" following the traditions, the standards, of making an
object.  We admire the artist who breaks down walls of expectation and
tradition, who forges a new path.  The craftsperson who invents the "new"
is also an artist.  The artist who executes an idea with consummate skill
is also a craftsman.  There have been great works of art that were very
poorly made (Da Vinci's Last Supper, for one). Discounting by description
alone a paint-throwing art work because it sounds as if "anyone could do
it" is as grave a crime as judging a book by its cover.  Some artists are
craftspersons, some craftspersons are artists, but neither one nor the
other gets a free ticket into both clubs.

Ken Leslie, Artist usually, craftsperson on occasion
Charuby Press


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