Monday, August 21, 2017

So what is this other duality? I'm just writing this one fresh. I've done some thinking and writing the past couple days in the notes of my iphone and it's a lot of disconnected pieces relating to a particular duality that came to mind which is a different possible way of defining caricatures and portraits. Hopefully as I type here things will connect naturally or at least have a pleasing, cohesive rhythm. What to make of this other duality? Entertainment versus Art let's say. Caricature would have to be the entertainment. Portraiture would have to be the Art. What am I getting at? I'll tell ya. A live caricature artist has this responsibility to entertain. And Portraiture traditions have this bubble of protection around artists and their subjective expressions. Art feels like it's protected from the idiot mob so to speak and Entertainment feels like it's at its service.

So I think I figured out what's going on. The previous way I'd defined caricatures and portraits was humor versus reverence and the above definition is Entertainment versus Art more or less. So now we're going to be talking about the duality of these two dualities. Golly, if you'd a told me I was gonna say duality so much today I wouldn't have believed you. Humor versus reverence is a definition for the customer. It's about their responsibility. Entertainment versus Art is about our responsibility. So basically if a customer had a bad caricature experience, it's not for them to say "You're job was to entertain me and you failed." But they could say of a caricature "I'm sorry. I just don't think it's funny" and it would help their case if they didn't laugh. Or with a portrait they might be able to complain that it doesn't look like the person. Which might be more difficult to prove but at least that would be the nature of the discussion. Or heck, it's something like that. Entertainment versus Art feels antiquated and used up and corrupted in a way. But I guess the problem is when it's not just taken as speaking on personal creative responsibilities and setting the highest possible standards for yourself and instead it's trademarked and slapped on a lunchbox. And then the ideal becomes conflated with the lowest common denominator and you get boring art history books and summer movies that aren't fun but seem like they ought to be because they're sufficiently vacuous.

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