Monday, December 8, 2008

Art and Appreciation

Art and Appreciation

Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments. - Ayn Rand

Recently, I got an opportunity to interact with one of my favorite writer during my adolescent age, Mr.Yandamoori Veerandranath. Off late he has stopped writing popular novel, instead concentrating on personality development workshops and social service through education. Apart from popular novel, he had written some nice serious novels. If you are brought up in south India, it is very difficult miss him. You might have read his book/translated book or might have watched movies based on his novels etc. I sent him an email urging him to  return to novel writing, not flimsy or glossy or popular but meaningful and serious. To which he replied;

"Thank u very much for your kind letter. A person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Your letter boosts up the passion and gusto of a writer like me for better works. "

I was bit surprised to note such a famous writer says this!!! Even he needs appreciation to write what he believes meaningful.

Yes whenever artist creates something, he would like share his creation with others and would be keen on getting opinions of others. A good constructive opinion and appreciation would encourage him to create more and feel exalted.

What if it is otherwise?

Was there any artist, who never cared for opinions or appreciation? Yes there were many in the history. But I think they didn't come in contact with people who would think in same wave length. Or their fight was with institution or institutional beliefs.

What if artist creates something to which no one shows favorable opinion except himself? This is where artistic conviction and self belief of artist will be tested. There are many instances where people were not appreciated as they were ahead of their times. Example: Socrates drinking hemlock instead of preaching what he did not believe in. People writing novels or poems in different style or in theme than what is believe to be tradition or convention.

There are plenty of people who went against tide or popular belief. All the new things you see in this world are result of that.

Like Ayn Rand said "Every man should live for his own happiness and no one is sacrificial animal for others happiness". I strongly believe that self conviction and belief are more important than other’s appreciation in Art. Do you have them in you? Then go ahead create your own form of art or what you believe in, with out compromise or with out caring /worrying about other’s opinion!

P.S: Our own poet Dr. Shivarudrappa's line

ಎದೆ ತುಂಬಿ ಹಾಡಿದೆನು


ಎಲ್ಲ ಕೇಳಲಿ ಎಂದು ನಾನು ಹಾಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲ
ಹಾಡುವುದು ಅನಿವಾರ್ಯ ಕರ್ಮ ನನಗೆ!


ಹಾಡೋ ಹಕ್ಕಿಗೆ ಬೇಕೆ ಬಿರುದು ಸನ್ಮಾನ ...


At the same there is absolutely nothing wrong for getting appreciated for your creativity or art. Treat other's appreciation as by-product not as the main objective.


Gulmohar said...

It is this superficial state of mind called Nirvana and Indifference.

Anyways, we all know it is a bad world. So is why we have our own means and methods to reach nirvana, sometimes with KF/MC/JW?:-)

Madhukar Hebbar said...

"Communication of an Individuals thoughts in his/her/its chosen medium. When the chosen medium has the notion of aesthetics, it can be termed as art" .. This is the definition I have stuck with for some time now.

Nice flow of thoughts sir, :-) it was a good read.

VidyaShankar Harapanahalli said...

In other ways... It is like this...

I love you, I respect you
I will die for if need arises
But, Sorry! I can't live life on your terms... or I can't live for you...

Shetty said...

VSS, I dont completely agree with you here. The beholder must not be undervalued.

There was a poet who told me that poetry was like a woman, if revealed it becomes limited, if not its boundless to the creator.
If the creator does not seek appreciation externally then he should guard and cherish his secret himself. He should not do the favor by publishing it.

On the other hand the creator may himself be unaware of the greatness of his creation. Also, his time span is usually smaller than his creation, all the more reason for external appreciation

Madhukar Hebbar said...

Shetty, when you use appreciation.

Do you mean "understanding"?
"appreciation like 'this is good stuff'"?

If it is understanding (I agree with you), every individual is trying to find people whom he can understand and relate to on different subjects. I think it is the similar psych a creator goes through when creator publishes his creation.

If the appreciation is like "people saying this is good art", I do not agree this is a need. It helps, but not a need.

An example, you have written an article and a third person says "This is Good stuff", and also says a "thing, which is opposite of the article" (stupid). Will you as creator accept this as appreciation and Like it? Do you find a need of such appreciations?

I guess this relates to mediocrity of people a bit. One person "Likes" your article just because "everybody else" does. Would you as a creator like such an "appreciation"? Do you find a value in such appreciations also?

Shetty said...

Hebbar, you talking about too many things here.
1) Understanding v/s appreciation
The second can happen only after the first.
2) People saying its good stuff but not understanding: These are not appreciating, they are bull shitting. Obviously you dont need that
3) One person likes it because everyone else likes it. Yes he might, but he will never be able to really appreciate it. Its like me walking into a french thriller in Paris without subtitles, I might kind of like it but can never appreciate the depth,the dialogues etc etc
4)Take one more example: Appreciation derived from understanding different from what was was originally planned. Its possible; expression may have multiple meanings that even the creator has not imagined. If appreciation comes from the then prevalent understanding , whats wrong, its like mis-hitting the ball and still reaching the boundary.:-)
5) Do I find value in appreciation: Yes and I seek it. But it has to be derived from understanding and it has to be honest

Madhukar Hebbar said...

Yeah, trying to shorten the chain of comments ;-)

1) not completely
2) ok
3) ok
4) agreed. 100%
5) ok

I agree with your comment with "Understanding" in picture. If I do not want anybody to understand, I just keep my art in my pocket and not show.

Where do you place a person?, who "Understands" the artwork, but "do not agree" with the logic of artwork.

For me, this is an appreciation of my output also.

Author, your comments please on the way the term appreciation is used.

My understanding is, article talks about - do not do your work for "feedback" alone. Do your work with conviction without worrying about feedback. If you want to publish are not, depends on if you want the world see your artwork.

Shetty said...


Would you parade your future wife flimsily dressed. No!. Why? Because you dont need/ want / expect others appreciation!! You would cover her up and keep her only for yourself. Right!!

Why then would you display your creation if you dont need external appreciation. The very fact that it is in the open demands reassurance and appreciation

If you still dont agree, lets take this over a drink :-), rest may join too whatever their view

Gulmohar said...

Appreciation of art is a frequency match between the creator and the beholder.

Nevertheless, is it not an appreciative art by itself that tunes to frequencies of masses for the purpose of getting appreciated?

VidyaShankar Harapanahalli said...

Appreciation, admiration, understanding and support are essential for any artist's growth and survival.

But, the free spirit of Art should be guiding light of an artist, not appreciation. Example: many super stars or cine artist getting captivated in there perceived image or super stardom. Hope this clarifies.

Madhukar Hebbar said...

Keep discussing! :-) yeah I agree, the place you suggest is a better place to discuss :-)

I agreed when I said "If it is understanding (I agree with you)". The discussion was to understand your perspective of word appreciation. Once I re-read all comments and article I feel, we are telling the same thing with different words.

I do not own my wife, but I own my creation. Completely different subjects.

With this discussion I understand the below,

1) In the process of creation, we need to think about adding value to the subject we are dealing with. rather than, what other people might think.

2) After the creation is done, I would publish to get other peoples perspective of my product. Other people understanding the product I term it as appreciation. They appreciating and providing different perspective helps me improve.

Thanks for discussion.

VidyaShankar Harapanahalli said...

I have found a answer for all the confusion.

Pre-creation : There should not be any influence of 'what will people react' factor. Otherwise art will be corrupted.

During creation : Ditto

Post-creation: "People reaction" factor should valued whether it appreciation, constructive opinion or otherwise.