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yes or no : philosophy :
[+] serious ballot by forgetmenot

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

It is my belief that life imitates art. Art has always been created to direct life.
Art tries to supersede life or create new life expression, and life imitates that. Art was never created to imitate life but to express one person's desire to see life in the direction of his or her mental image or fantasy. Art is a form of sympathetic magic. Prehistoric artists painted pictures of the animals they wanted to find in the hunt, hoping life would imitate what they painted. Even an attempt to imitate life through art is an oxymoron because the artist can only express his or her inner view. If this view is appreciated by the person who observes the artwork, then it modifies his or her perceptions. No, art does not imitate life. Art molds perceptions.

Today, a painting, sculpture, or musical piece depicting the horrors of war (as just one example) might be done to reshape the attitude of the viewer. Any response whatsoever to any piece of art is life being molded by art.

Even a plain portrait reshapes the individual in the portrait so the sitter is seen as the painter saw the sitter—that is art creating a new reality.

Life imitates art
Art imitates life

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Voted : Comment
I hate art.

by LCD [+]

^Music is art, too.
Voted : Comment
The old age question "what came first, the chicken or the egg" can be used as a good metaphor here. What came first art or life? The question that also comes to mind is what is the most relevant perception of art? Also to be considered, is art intentional or an natural? I'd think it'd be both. IMO most of the images pouring in from the cosmos via the Hubble telescope and other powerful observatories beats anything I can find in the Louvre any day; but some might disagree.

It gets even more complex when you replace life with 'intelligent life' or humanity, which I guess would also suffice in the equation; but putting semantics aside, it's important to ask this as well as the original question because the only perception of life we as humans are genuinely capable of comprehending would be that of intelligent life. So, yet another relevant question that comes to mind is 'Which came first art or humanity?' That's a difficult question. It goes back to a previous question, which was 'is art intentional or an natural?' One example to consider is in both questions would be cave paintings; they predate all other aspects of humanity by thousands of years, whether it be society, language, animal husbandry/domestication, agriculture or even the most rudimentary of tools. Historians define those early ages as 'prehistory' because there is 'no written record' but then isn't a picture, however simplistic it may be, worth a thousand words? One thing we can all agree on is that us humans have always felt the desire to externalize our internal most expression. Which would seem to indicate that life does in fact imitate art.

As humanity has progressed the question becomes even more complex. Looking to the classical era, art is much more relevant; especially in architecture, military, religion and education; all of which, in this day in age, certainly seem void of anything of true sustenance when it comes to aesthetics. Humanism is definitely emphasized during this period and wields a powerful influence over classical art. But as we move into the dark ages, the church moves away from this and by the ultra-conservative feudal period that is the middle ages, art seems to imitate life; specifically and strictly, that of religious life. Humanism almost becomes something to be ashamed of. But then comes the Renaissance; or re-birth. The artistic aspects of society, especially in Western European Society, rise from the dust once more. Humanism is something to be celebrated; just look at Michael Angelo's Statue of David, or Leonardo Davinche's Mona Lisa. Art advances from two dimensional conservative depictions to three dimensional liberal depictions. In music too. Mainstream music no longer revolves around the subject of religion, but rather that of love, war and even nature. And so it would seem that art imitates life.

Voted : Comment
I believe both. Art can change a person. But, it does take an open mind to enjoy art. Music, canvas, bronze, etc.
Voted : Life imitates art
Just how many things from that TV show from the 60's 'Star Trek' are now reality.

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