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'.