• Artist vs. Artisan: An Age Old Distinction Extinct

    Posted on December 19, 2013 by in Chirps, What's Hatching

    Oil Painting, Visual Arts

    Oil Painting, Visual Arts

     

    Sculpture, Decorative Arts

    Sculpture, Decorative Arts

    Over the centuries there existed a hierarchy within the art world. To the average person, anything in the aesthetic realm could be determined art. For some folks, a framed photo or poster could be considered art, while collectors consider the financial investment and its potential to grow as an asset as what constitutes art. Art belongs to the masses and is defined in the eye of the beholder.

    Then why do creatives separate themselves? It has been suggested that an artist and artisan are not only two different types of creative, but rather also two distinctly different levels of creative. Among the art world, the revere of two-dimensional art (drawing, painting, photography), or the visual arts, has long been touted as a “high culture” or “fine art” whereas the workmanship of one who creates three dimensional work, or decorative arts, (pottery, sculpture, glass-blowing, jewelry-making) as an artisan, a step-child to those who practice fine art.

    To understand the cultural significance of this, one must look into the historical relevance of the terms. Prior to the Renaissance, creative types were considered laborers, or servants to the wealthy and those in power. It wasn’t until then, through significant works, that visual artists established their social worth and were considered to be of higher value within society. It was also at this time that those who continued to create works by hand, or artisans, were of lesser importance because they made objects for everyday use.

    Before the Industrial Revolution, artisans were the primary producers of consumer products. Just like back then, today artisans create works by hand and practice a particular craft. The aptitude by which they work can be of equal or greater levels than that of a visual artist. As a result, over the past century, the significance between artist and artisan has lessened.

    Both visual and decorative artists are creative types who have imagination, talent, and skill and are able to use these gifts to create works that have aesthetic value and enhance the world in which we live. At Robin B Gallery, we value both the visual and decorative arts equally. All of our artists are accomplished in their specific mediums and bring beauty to life through their works.