(FB 1543537043 Timestamp)
ON THE VALUE OF ART TO THE ARTIST AND CONSUMER
by Tim Beckley-Spillane
As Curt has pointed out, metaphor and allegory are adopted for their economy. Artists use them as a means of conveying subjective experiences that are much too complex and intricate to communicate in toto.
The mystifying element of art is simply a necessary consequence of the shorthand approach employed in its creation, and so it can’t actually be demystified because it’s a message presented in incomplete, non-operational, non-scientific language, and therefore the exact intention and experience of the artist cannot be extracted from it.
The imprecision of a fortunately rendered artwork can inspire a great deal of intellectual stimulation however, and it’s in this that great art gains much of its value.
The greater the intellect of the consumer, the better equipped he is to connect the dots, to imaginatively exhaust all of the possibilities presented in the artwork (which are, of course, endless), the greater the value he finds in it. Imprecision also necessitates interaction, unification of thought and experience, which is the ultimate end that the successful artist achieves by means of his art.
In other words, the ultimate aim of artistic production is not the work itself, but the exchange it mediates between the artist and consumer, which can continue as long as the artwork survives.
As the great novelist James Joyce said of his masterpiece, Ulysses, “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.”