Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ways of Seeing

The Question "What is the Difference between ART and ADVERTISING" came up in class...

There are definitely two edges to this sword, and a sharp sword at that... a dialectic argument to say the least. I kept thinking of John Berger's book "Ways of Seeing" but had to revisit the book before I exploded with verbal diarrhea in class. I should have gone fourth and maybe just brought the book up, but I felt the need to look at it more deeply. I don't have the book with me at school, but I read it in a high school Art History Class. It's by far my top five favorite books and it should be on Oprah's bookclub list because society, especially the US, needs to understand the importance of their culture and how it has evolved.

Art shapes our culture and it also mirrors our culture. Same with advertising. I had an epiphany after class after my buddy Kyle made some remarks. He said something about Advertising having an intent for the consumer, whereas Art is more for the individual. Yes, they intersect but what I think he was getting at is better understood through Berger. In a nutshell Berger says that Advertising, "fuels the urge for a glamorous life". (Social Darwinism more plainly put). But it's not about survival, it's about consuming and building your image. Advertising allows you to choose who you want to be, what you want to look like, the lifestyle you choose. Some may think it's vain, Berger addresses how Advertising, "creates envy", but we all make choices. We all can climb the ladder if we so choose.

Like Advertising Art can also reflect society or create a glamorous lifestyle when it's a sellable product. But when I think of Art with a capitol A, I think of Art for Art's sake. For the joy of creating, for the process of enduring, the technique worth mastering. Art is its own entity.

 Art and Advertising are different, but very similar ways of navigating, embracing, and changing our culture. (...profound right?) ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment