Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rococilian fantasy

I remember learning about rococo. I learned it was the fuzzy angels and curvy lines stuff that the baroque artists hated. I learned that the 18th century was a time of frivolous and silly things, and I agree. Like the fantasy stories I in middle school. There was a pure spirit of magic to it.

This is a girandole, an ornamental wall-light. Because the function of the girandole was so slight it was a perfect working ground for designers like Thomas Johnson. So long as there was a place to put the candle they could do anything they liked, make a hunt or recreate a fable from Aesop or carve as many sinuous dolphins as they liked. [Wilson, M. The English country house.]

The baroque era evolved out of this, desiring a seriousness lacking in rococo. Baroque art is introverted, its function is turned in on itself as it looks at the psycology of the figures and the effects of light and darkness. In studying itself baroque art becomes its own purpose.

I love rococo for it's frivolity, permitted by the slight purpose, and I am admittedly frightened by the Baroque which.

'Art for art's sake' seems for many to mean 'art is only art if it is for its own sake', however, if this were true the former would not be necesarry. Now I must find a purpose for my frivolous art, that it shall be outward and not inward-looking. Do either distraction or amusement count as purposes? What about paper weight or door stopper?