By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
Every picture tells a story and it is important for one to know the story behind a painting or sculptor. Walter Benjamin once said the aura of artwork is lost in the reproduction of the work so Art is just not the same any-more. The authenticity in any piece of artwork is what makes it beautiful. The media often distorts this due to political correctness or other policies so people never get the full experience of an artwork,
The aura has vanished in our modern-day age because art has now become reproducible and people can purchase classic literature cheaply in paperback. Or a painting can be purchased as a poster and there is another new form of art experience through TV and adverts. Although we may be embracing technology there is just something about staring at original art in a gallery or visiting a unique historic building. The technology helps in the sense that people can connect with the person behind the story through social media articles and articles or even documentaries.
However, if we can then recreate the olden day where art was important and understood we can get the “aura of art back.” This can be done through Art history and through artist telling their stories of how they discovered their first love of art. They then can retell the struggles so upcoming artists don’t give up. As much as we are living in a digitalized world there is something about seeing the real thing and understanding how it came to be.
Here are few stories behind paintings….
In the painting “The Night Watch Story “ by Rembrandt the main focus behind it was of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and his company marching out for war. There painting has about 34 characters in which Rembrandt added a drummer to it for context. The ‘moment” depicted is part of a series of paintings believed to have been depicted by the Captain and his arm. The reason being this army was well known for their fondness of creating paintings.
Then there is “The starry night “ by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889 which was a result of a mental episode. After he had a mental breakdown that resulted in self-mutilation of his ear he voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum in 1989. This where it is said he produced many of his best works. he produced some of his best-known work. This particular one shows the view from the east-facing window of his room at the asylum just before sunrise with the addition of an idyllic village. Hearing such a story and one’s imagination makes the viewer understand and appreciate the work.
Even though people are modernized they still need to be in touch with reality and what better way to experience art as it is. Just like when you are reading a book and then you see the film, there is never a moment when a movie can bring out the story in the way it is written. So even though you can try and recreate an art there is just some magic missing. Sometimes you just need to fill.
In 2017 l experienced art in a new way through the paintings of Lin Barrie called “The painted Wolf. “which became a foundation for conservation. The painting is of the endangered African Wild dogs and so she also came up with a brand of wines called Painted Wolves Wine” where all proceeds go to the protection of these endangered species.
Behind every piece of art, there is a story being told whether it subtle or huge and art is essential for our future and history lets unite in making it whole again