A Measure Of True Art Essay, Research Paper
A Measure of True Art
In Dorothy Allison s essay “This is our World”, she judges true art in comparison to similar works. She writes, art should surprise and astonish, and hopefully make you think something you had not thought until you saw it.
I agree with her statement completely. If a piece of art wants to have any chance of impacting me, it must hold my attention with an icy grip and force me to drastically alter the way in which I see some aspect of life. The best way to illustrate this statement is by example. I have chosen the photograph on pages 178 and 179 as a piece of art that has made me look at things in an entirely different way.
When I first glance at the picture, my eyes are immediately drawn to the pearls, the makeup, and the camera on the counter of a bathroom. Next I take in the general thinness of the girl, and the way she stares, perhaps frowning at the scale upon which she stands. Now I see the sleek black dress she is wearing and the two other outfits slung over the door as her parents look on. I get the impression that the husband and wife are conversing quietly about their daughter s obsession with her appearance. Next, my eyes drift back to see the worried expression on the girl s seated friend, who may be waiting on her friend for a double date perhaps. The girl on the scale seems skinny to the extreme of being unhealthy and possibly even life-threatening.
To me, this photograph is bursting with emotion. It provides a good learning exercise, and many insights into the lives of members of a family in which the children have such a disorder. The girl still sees herself as being overweight, regardless of how extremely skinny everyone sees her in reality. I have never had a sibling in such a predicament, and so by viewing this piece of art, I am able to feel as though I were a part of that family and could share their emotions.
If I were to pass by a window and witness this same scene, I would not think twice about it, but because the artist (photographer) chose to photograph this specific girl in this particular situation, I take a second look. Simply by viewing the photograph, I find myself asking Why did the artist take this shot? And after careful scrutiny, I see the creative genius of the artist, as well as the message that is being conveyed.
The aspects of this photograph that fit Allison s descriptions of surprise and efficiency have also rung true for this work of art. The brute force behind the message can be felt rather quickly in mere casual examination of the photograph.
The artist conveys truths that many people are not willing to accept, because they have tunnel vision with respect to certain issues and this broadens the field of vision of all who take the time to immerse themselves in the art.