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How convincing is the claim that we value art because it is an act of emotional communication between artist and audience?

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Introduction

How convincing is the claim that we value art because it is an act of emotional communication between artist and audience? (30 marks) Art can be valued in several different ways, from its ability to imitate reality, its ability to reveal truths, to its ability to cause emotions in people and communicate emotions from the artist to the audience. In this essay I will be discussing how convincing the claims are that suggest we value to the extent that the artist successfully communicates their emotions to the audience through the artwork. Firstly, in order to evaluate this claim, the role of the artist must be understood. It could be said, that their role is to express their own personal experiences through their artwork, and therefore the most valued pieces are those that present strong emotions most honestly. This suggests that an artist must endure an emotional experience, then express the emotions of the experience into the art, however I feel that this is not a good way to value art. The experience that the artist undergoes, could be one that although communicated successfully by the art, is not appreciated, nor liked by the audience. ...read more.

Middle

This has shown that they are actively searching for the right emotion, and did not set out to communicate that exact emotion at the start, which would undermine theory. I also feel that some artwork does not portray an emotion at all, and that it was not the intention of the artist to do so. Another objection is that it is common for an artist to express emotions they do not feel. Great examples of this scenario are novels. Within novels (which are still works of art), the author creates many different characters, and can convincingly portray different emotions for them all, many of which they may never have personally experienced. If an artist has not experienced the emotion, then they cannot have set out to communicate this emotion, therefore again undermining the claim that we value because it is an act of emotional communication between artist and audience. On the other hand, despite not experiencing an emotion first hand, is still communicating with the audience by allowing the audience to understand what the art is trying to depict. ...read more.

Conclusion

However even if we try to reveal the artist's intentions through their other pieces of art, and discussions with others about the intentions, we can never actually know them, so therefore we have no other option but to only asses work based on its 'internal evidence', when the art is in isolation. I agree with this view because when trying to discover the artists intentions, looking at their other artwork is useless, because the artist will obviously have different intentions for each piece. I feel that artwork should be judged by a clear unclouded mind, that has no previous knowledge of the artist, then if an emotions are successfully communicated, the artwork could be said to be valuable. To conclude, I feel that the claim 'we value art because it is an act of emotion communication between artist and audience' is not convincing. Even if a piece of art communicates the emotion that was intended by the artist, it may provoke an emotional response in the audience that is not liked or desired, therefore they would not value the art. I think that valuing art should be based on numerous things, not based wholly on how well it communicates an emotion. ...read more.

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