The connection between artist and object starts out as a connection between child and toy. By understanding the connections children have with toys and how it breed the artistic minds of young artist, one can then go about maturing and becoming a mature well-rounded artist that composes work with substance and presence. Looking at Charles Baudelaire’s writing about toys and in turn Marit Grotts analyst of Baudelaire, one can gain a greater understanding about why artist make and how they can apply their creative abilities.
A want to become and artist can start out in childhood. Imagination can stem from a lack of, be it money, loneliness, or simulation. A toy then is active in order to fill that lack of, or better called void. The child’s imagination will then grow as a result of this void replacing it with a toy. By stimulating the child’s imagination it leads to the child having a greater since of self, capacity for wonder, and a greater problem solving skills. These tree factors have to possibility to make a child and artist.
In Charles Baudelaire’s essay Morale du Joujou or A Philosophy of Toys he stats: This ease in gratifying the imagination is evidence of the spirituality of childhood in its artistic conceptions. The toy is the child’s earliest imitation to art or rather for him it is the first concrete example of art, and when mature age comes, the perfected examples will not give his mind the same feelings of warmth, nor the same enthusiasms, nor the same sense of conviction.
This quote shows Baudelaire’s view on toys being the first steps to making artist. In this passage Baudelaire says, “The toy is the child’s earliest imitation to art or rather for him it is the first concrete example of art…” this leads one to come to the understanding that, art for children can come in the form of a toy. This type of art, the art of a toy, is digestible for a child’s mind. He or she does not need to concern him or herself with the theory of why a ball is blue virus red.
All the toy needs to be is a vessel for the child for creative thinking. Baudelaire then goes to say, “when mature age comes, the perfected examples will not give his mind the same feelings of warmth, nor the same enthusiasms, nor the same sense of conviction. ” He says this because that a toy is only the beginning sage in learning about art. One must then expand ones thinking to then be satisfied. Further more, in reading Marit Grotts book Baudelaire’s Media Aesthetics:
The Gaze of the Flaneur and 19th-Century Media, chapter on toys, Grotts analyzes Baudelaire’s writings of toy, and from the passage above, she states, “In this Manner, he connects the child’s fascination with toys with the development of an artistic sensibility implying that as the child grows up, he may transfer his aesthetic preferences to art. ” Using Grotts analysis of Baudelaire one can then see how toys can give birth to artists. By having a need a child creates toys, then in turn grows imagination, then transforms that in to artistic ideas. After the use of toys and the development of imagination a child then could become an artist.
This artist will then start to create art objects. Drawing upon memories or interest, the young artist will make. They will make anything that comes to mind from paintings of flowers to a sculpture of a hundred shoes. Not having any other interest then to build, and being guided solely by the their ability to make on a whim. This childlike and impulsive way of making leads to work that is contrived and pretentious. In Grotta’s analyst, when referring to art objects she says, “They appeal to the imagination, give access to an enchanted world, and they make the question of usefulness irrelevant.
A question that arises is how these objects come alive in the imagination of the child or adult. ” This quote opens up the question on if art objects being alive. Does an object have a life? In the Merriam-Webster dictionary “life” is defines as “the ability to grow, change, etc. ” However in this definition it says nothing about this life having to be a physical change that can be viewed in real time. A life can be the thoughts, ideas, and influences that surround an art objects.
This can be illustrated in conceptual art; many times it is not about the visual aspect of the work that makes a “thing” a work of art, but the idea or concept behind the “thing”. In this since an art object would be the same as a rock. Even though it is unable to react it can change as a result of its environment. Then for example, the idea would be to take this rock and see how many people that can or will be affected by this certain rock. This work its self would be hard to show or uninteresting in the end, however when you pair it with the concept, the rock then takes on a life of its own.
Another example of work taking on a life of its own can be seen in the #cleanseinstall Installation by Heather Joy Puskarich. This work started off by Puskarich, makes and a whole bunch of soaps in the shape of her then gave the soaps to people to clean themselves with her. However in toing this she discovered people doing other things with her soaps, like keeping them and photographing them. Then she decided to make a project where she collected all the photos of there her shaped soaps on Instagram.
This is a prime example of a work changing and taking on a life of its own. ¬Taking this in mind the young artist, the child that was influenced by toys, and learned to make art objects must now learn how to make truthful art objects. Objects that don’t try to be something they are not and at the same time question ideas. The young artist must learn to channel this ability, to convert imagination in to objects. Grotta’s analyst of Baudelaire, stats: Mechanical toys of various sorts proliferated the market in the industrial age; they were cheap, mass produced, and catered to the growing fascination with technology and animation.
Whereas automatons were expensive and complex constructions, mechanical toys were simple devices whose construction could more easily be understood. They were moderately enchanting devices whose spell could easily be broken. Insofar as their mechanism was not concealed, but rather quite visible, they could be viewed as producing honest illusions. Furthermore, these mechanical apparatuses were devised to be operated manually and thus required the interaction of the playing subject. This quote shows and example in how an art object can be come a truthful peace of work.
Art objects that instead of hiding behind a fancy exterior cover a work that reveals their selves. It opens its self up to be critiqued, to be ridiculed, and looked at. This honesty in what it is, and what it is not, can be a powerful tool for an artist. For example, the painting The Treachery of Images by Rene Magritte, shows a brown pipe and the text below it reads “Ceci n’est une pipe” or “ This is Not a Pipe”. This painting is so honest in what it is it is hard at first to not take it as some kind of joke. This painting is obviously a painting of a pipe, so why in the world does it say, “ This is not a pipe”?
This work is confusing until one relies this is not a pipe this is a painting of a pipe. It is an illusion, a symbol to represent a real object. This painting is a great example of a work of art truthful. Instead of trying to fool the viewer in to an illusion, a young artist should use this to there advantage. the young artist should make the audience an active part of the art and not just try to trick them in to believing you. It is always better to have the viewer be in on the magic or idea so thy can believe to for themselves instead of relying on the artist to tell them what to see or do.
The goal of a young artist should not be to fool the viewers but to make the viewers question themselves. All things considered, young artist should look in to and reflect on their idea of why they make art. They should look at the writings of Charles Baudelaire and Marit Grotts in order to understand the role toys play in imagination and in turn in their art. Also they should keep in mind how an object can be alive and chance throughout the core of a peace. However one must understand that one can only get so far in fooling the audience, one have to interact in order to have the greatest impact.