Art vs Technique

During one of my interactions with fine arts students, I asked them to describe their paintings. To my surprise, they started giving narrations on colors, style, effects and little was spoken on the thought behind the painting. If this is how the future is looking at this art form and if this is the present scenario where art valuation focuses more on technique compared to the thought, Plato's (ancient greek philosopher) perception about the paintings and artists is going to be proved true. Plato excoriates painting as a mere 'craft' similar to shoe making and iron casting.

A canvas may be full of colors but feels naked without artist's vision and thoughts. The painting as an art form should be responsible for stimulating aesthetics, intellectual and psychosocial sensibilities within an individual. The thought within the painting undertakes the above task and the technique organises the thought in way idiosyncratic to that artist. The exaggerated emphasis on technique has not only reduced the impact of the paintings limited to the visual senses but also made a painting independent of its creator. There are more innovations in painting techniques in the design market than artists' studios. There are new launches made every season adding to millions of techniques already available in the market.

So what the future holds for valuation of painting focused only on techniques, time will tell. But certainly, if the trend continues, Plato's school of thought will gain prominence reducing painting from a form of art to a mere 'technique'.

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