Aug 5th, 2009

…By and large modern literature, like modern art and modern music, has forsaken the larger audience. The artists are talking only to each other and to those readers who have trained themselves to look for the things the artists look for.

The trouble is that what artists see is like what tailors see — their eye goes to the stitching, not to the suit. The work is viewed, not in the context of real life as a whole, but in the context of the conversation among artists. And this has only limited interest for most people.

The points Card makes deftly explain my own feelings regarding many artists considered the creative elite in their mediums, such as Wes Anderson, Jackson Pollock, and multiple rap and independent musicians alike.  I can sometimes appreciate their work as a study of the artist themselves, their technical skill, and/or their dialogue with their counterparts — but not as relatable expressions of a greater story or purpose.  At best, such art art has little long-term or widespread value; at worst, it’s received as an exercise in arrogance.

Greater skilled is an artist whose work appeals to a wider audience even when their immediate peers are few: The Lord of the Rings originated as a bedtime story for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children; Schindler’s List as an homage to Spielberg’s lineage; Für Elise for a woman of Beethoven’s interest.  In such cases the artist didn’t limit themselves to those individuals alone, but created a masterpiece that could be appreciated by anyone able to engage it.  That’s art.

via WordPress at 1:49 AM