I think you have it. Some few kids ARE incredibly "gifted" and produce
"masterpieces", few of those by intention, most not by luck alone. The
majority haven't a clue -- probably all the more so wherever Art is up
there with neurosurgery as a formal and skilled profession.
The "rules of design" often have little to do with art other than as an
after-thought or as an accessory to Formalism. In engineering such rules
do have the force of law. I've worked with enough engineers to confirm that.
Art, unlike design, does not appear to be the child of rule. If that were
so we could anticipate that in time computers would surpass humans in
such industry just as they will inevitably rule in Chess.
I expect that we will see the formal aspects of art increasingly usurped
by technology, Just as the camera produced such precise "realism" and
destabilized the realistic art of the academy computers are about to take
another swing at the mechanical aspects of art. Computer programs are very
sure about what is "right" and what is "wrong" and they are increasingly
sure of "the rules". That doesn't make them masters either. Most kids are
not "masters," but then most professional artists are not either. Profound
Mastery is rare (I hope) but is unconfined to either adult or academic
realms. The technical mastery of a journeyman and a professional is not
rare and is indeed the standard of the profession. Such mastery is
attendant upon adult criteria and academic schooling to a great extent.
I would argue that it is a mistake to confound the two modalities (Ooooh
I said "confound," How pomo!)
I see few kids who could be considered masters in any sense but that is
not enought to claim that there are none. I see no adults from my
generation to whom I'd apply the appelation in the sense it was applied
to Raphael, Michaelangelo, and perhaps Picasso. But that's opinion and
interpretation, better left to history to discuss.
You open Dave on the question of "are kids artists?" and close on the
question of mastery. Different things all in all. I expect to run into
kids who are (for me) artists. I don't expect to find one who is a
master of any profundity. I do anticipate coming across a rare child
who's work is "professional", seems to have been one on the news of late,
in fact. That kind of mastery comes from work and intention, that kind of
mastery in not denied the child. The larger, more interesting question
tho is whether an interest in such mastery will be retained throughout a
life-time or whether it will be put aside with other "childish" things
after a while.
On Tue, 14 May 1996, Dave wrote:
> I am glad someone else out there has raised the question of "are kids
genuine artists when they create a masterpiece?" I feel some kids are
gifted in the way they design thier compositions and they come up with
good pieces of art more often than the average student; however, I see
some kids that don't have a clue when they are creating as to what they
are doing! I have seen kids in kindergarten create works that some adult
artist only dream of, and that is the only piece that is of quality for
the next 6 year even with me harping at them the rules of design! At a
young age students are not concerned with what is right and what is wrong
with a composition and if you have enough students over time you are bound
to get a few masterpieces. So no I don't think these young artist should
be considered masters.