Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hockney's Theory

Choosing between 'relief' or 'disappointment' has been impossible for me for this writing assignment. Speculating, amazed, shocked, and impressed are better descriptions for how I feel about it.
To me, disappointment seems like a silly reaction. The craft of making those dark rooms, the mathematical calculation and precision involved in using the camera obscura is an art in itself. Using a tool like that should not be frowned on. Should you be disappointed in an artist because he or she uses a ruler to make a strait line? Especially if the artist builds the ruler himself!
What really convinced me of the truth in this theory is the dramatic shift in the artistic time line. Painting was done one way, and then bam! There it is being done a different way. A new drawing technology introduced in the time period would really explain that.
While the camera obscura would have enabled precision replications, it would still not replace the skill of creating compositions. Choosing all of the small details in people's clothes, the models themselves, the props, the backdrop -it's design. While artists were copying things, they still had to create their scenes. What colors to throw over chairs and what fruits to put in baskets, etc.
Also, the technology would not replace an artists talent in painting. A person who can build an apparatus to project a picture to sketch an outline is not automatically a master painter. To me this is why "relief" does not seem an appropriate response to the film either. I am not relieved to know that a master painter used a mechanical method to produce his immaculate images. I am excited about the science and craft which may have been used to produce these master works of art.

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