06 March 2007

Life and Art

My friend Sam's mate, Roxe, was killed recently in Cardiff. He was a graffiti artist. Here's a memorial site for him featuring his work, and under "beats" you can hear his brother's rapped eulogy. In the gallery there's a particularly poignant picture of Roxe spraying "Evil". It got me thinking about Life and Art and who is imitating whom.
Paradox though it may seem--and paradoxes are always dangerous things --it is none the less true that Life imitates art far more than Art imitates life. [...] they knew that Life gains from Art not merely spirituality, depth of thought and feeling, soulturmoil or soulpeace, but that she can form herself on the very lines and colours of art and can reproduce the dignity of Pheidias as well as the grace of Praxiteles. Hence came their objection to realism. They disliked it on purely social grounds. They felt that it inevitably makes people ugly, and they were perfectly right. We try to improve the conditions of the race by means of good air, free sunlight, wholesome water, and hideous bare buildings for the better housing of the lower orders. But these things merely produce health; they do not produce beauty. For this, Art is required, and the true disciples of the great artist are not his studio imitators, but those who become like his works of art, be they plastic as in Greek days, or pictorial as in modern times; in a word, Life is Art's best, Art's only pupil. - Oscar Wilde
What art is life imitating right now on the runways, or elsewhere?

No comments: