July 16, 2024


Life is art

Seeking Perfection in Art

Seeking Perfection in Art

Is it possible to have a perfect painting? And, if so, what would a perfect painting be like?

Artists do seek perfection in their art by various means. For example if the sun is at 11 o’clock, then the shadows of the objects should fall exactly at 5.00 o’clock (or diametrically opposite) this could be classified as “mechanical precision” but not perfect.

How ‘perfect’ does a work of art have to be to be good? Who can say how good or bad it is other than going on past sales and demand for an artist’s work? If a painting sells at Sotheby’s for $71 million then is it a great work of art? Not necessarily. The value of a painting has little to do with how good or bad it is–or perfect.

Do you have to be a professional artist to judge whether a work of art is good or bad? A professional artist can point out all the technical imperfections of a painting and an art critic will robotically drone on about how bad it is from past experience (he or she may be a gallery owner along 5th Avenue, NY.)

What is the purpose of art? I’ve heard many answers to this question; “It should speak to people and communicate a simple idea” or “It is only for the esoteric who understand it” or “It is for self indulgence” and stuff like “A hobby for creative people.” A professional artist would of course laugh at these answers. From a pro I’ve heard “It is the spiritual food of all people,” and The cornerstone of all cultures.” This following is from one of the art forums when asked this basic question: Quote: “the purpose of art is expression and it is the expression that fuels art.” I think these miss the mark quite a lot. And Oscar Wilde said “All art is quite useless” which shows how ignorant he was (or ill-informed) on the subject of art.

These comments do not help the budding artist at all and certainly does not answer the question of how good does a work of art have to be to be perfect? If there is no expertise shown–or very little–then it will be a far cry from being good and further from being perfect.

A professional artist can mix colors exactly as needed without giving much thought and then adds his intuitive message to create an exceptional work of art. He knows he can create an emotional impact that is enough to influence the mass market and is therefore good art – but not perfect. Why not? Simply because absolutes in the field of art are unobtainable, there’s no such thing as ‘perfect art.’