Thursday, 9 April 2009

Does it matter who makes art?

Does it matter who has made a piece of art? Should an artwork be judged purely on it's aesthetic merits or does it matter who the person behind the picture is? Such questions have vexed the artworld for years with vast sums of money often changing hands for art reputed to be by a famous artist which later turns out to be a forgery. This conundrum is made all the more interesting when morals are mixed with our aesthetical value judgements as has recently been highlighted by the story below.

Every time I've been into the Royal Festival Hall lately I've been showing people this amazing paper sculpture. It's an entire orchestra of 3" men and women performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony - the sheet music of which they are made. It stands on the plinth which has a small plaque explaining that the work was done by a guest of Her Majesty who committed a serious offence.

A message from the artist states: “Without this opportunity to show our art, many of us would have no incentive, we would stay locked in ourselves as much as the walls that hold us.”

It's often struck me how creativity such as this can overcome our preconceptions and influence our judgement of character. How could someone that can produce something as beautiful as this be a bad person?

But how would you feel if they were a child sex murderer who raped and killed two schoolgirls, and is using his artistic talent and achievements in an attempt to win immediate release from a life sentence he received in 1988? Not only that but he's going to profit from the sale of his work to the RFH where it is admired on public display?

Well according to The Times yesterday, that's exactly what has happened with the fittingly named Colin Pitchfork revealed as the artist. What do you think now? Apparently the RFH didn't know before they bought the work for £600. Does this change anything though? Can creative talent be a signal of rehabilitation? And what about the families of the victims?

In this instance I feel that Mr Pitchfork has every right to have his work remain on display - it has been selected on the merits of the craft alone and is a beautiful object. Whether he should be let out any earlier though is a much more complex issue.


6y270 said...

i always think that art is created by money..

Nice Reading said...

Wow... Beautiful Art !! thanks for post !!
Nice Reading