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rebbel's avatar

Should art be made by the artist('s hands) him-/herself?

Asked by rebbel (23534 points ) January 9th, 2012

David Hockney critisized Damien Hirst for not making his art by his own hands, but rather let the work be done by his assistants.
See here
Amongst other things he said: ”[He quoted a Chinese proverb that to be a painter] “you need the eye, the hand and the heart. Two won’t do.””
I saw the diamond skull by Damien Hirst, and apart from not being impressed but that obviously is personal, in hindsight I can see that it sounds a bit easy to get recognition for your art, even though you are ‘just’ the creative mind behind it.
Apparently also his dot paintings are being produced by assistants although one of those assistants is now a renowned artist, Rachel Howard .
What do you think?
‘Should’ an artist always use his own hands to make his art, or is the creative mind to think of something fantastic enough (and the can execution of the work be done by others?

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12 Answers

6rant6's avatar

Pretty silly on the face of it to say, “Art must be this!”

El_Cadejo's avatar

I think so, yes. Otherwise i kind of view it as cheating. I think we’re all capable of imagining great art but it takes real talent to actually make it and put form to that idea you had

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Art is never a product of physical action alone. It springs from mind, and the mechanics of producing it are irrelevant. Painter don’t necessarily make their own paint or brushes. Photographers don’t make their own mountain ranges to capture as landscapes. Sculptors don’t make their own stone or chisels.

As long as the final creation reveals the essence of the mind which originally envisioned it, and that vision reveals a new perspective, then I’ll call it art, no matter how it was constructed.

YARNLADY's avatar

To my way of thinking, yes. However, I have seen large art pieces which are made under the direction of the artist.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Let’s consider Steven Hawking, a quadriplegic, had a vision to produce art, but needed others to construct his vision… would that not be art simply because he couldn’t hold the brush? Would his physical handicap disqualify his artistic pursuit?

CWOTUS's avatar

Should Christo have hung every one of his pieces of fabric to get credit for his art?

thorninmud's avatar

It would seem more honest to also credit the principle collaborators. If movie makers can credit the guy who caters the cast meals, couldn’t the craftsman who realizes the artist’s vision also get a nod?

SavoirFaire's avatar

No, I don’t think so. Artists have been defying definitions of art for millennia, often on purpose, in order to keep art going. So like @6rant6 says: it’s pretty silly to say what art must be. Electronic musicians use machines all the time, and they might create filters or programs to do what once had to be done through more intensive processes. If someone else uses these filters, are they no longer making art? Might as well complain about painters using easels.

Sunny2's avatar

Glass art (sculptures, blown pieces) often require a team to produce. It’s a cooperative procedure, but the artist who gets the credit is the one with the vision and directs the others.
Large projects of art may require helpers to complete. A chef (want to argue about if they are artists?) needs helpers, but there is no doubt whose vision and direction makes the creation his/hers.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not always. Without a designer then nothing would be crafted.

6rant6's avatar

When the original Tron was made, it was discounted from consideration for technical achievement because they used used computers to do some of the effects, and that seemed like cheating – not doing it by hand.

When photography first came out, some painters dismissed it as purely mechanical activity not art.

And when marble first became available, the oldtimers were like, “Mud! Mud! You must use mud!” ok, I don’t have any proof, but it could have happened.

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