18 November 2009

the "is" of artistic identification

Danto introduces a third “is”, the “is” of artistic identification. This is serves as a judgment of distinguishable properties of artwork. This is doesn’t describe the piece, it serves as an evaluation and interpretation.
This “is” of artistic identification is also different in that Danto claims it can only be used by distinguished members of the art world. Distinguished members are those who know not only the history of art, but have also studied art theory. Supposedly, knowledge of art history and theories allow for a more educated judgment of the piece in question. Such judgment can only be passed with proper studying, therefore only by a member of the “art world”.

I have mentioned all along that I don’t feel entitled to pass judgment on art, so maybe Danto has a point with this "art world" business. The only problem I have is how to judge when someone belongs in the “art world” club. Can they be included by only studying art history and theory and be totally inept at creating art themselves? Or vice versa, can they be naturally skilled at art and able to create beautiful art, but have no interest in studying art history and theory?

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