The place of Depiction in Art

A work of art begins its journey by taking instructions from Society, Culture or Nature. If the journey finds enough patronage, the art becomes a tradition and starts to inform Society and Culture. The people and traditions that lent themselves to the work at its inception now begin to borrow from it. In this way the sensibility that Society and Culture invest into an artist comes with a risk of the artist growing into a misinformed tyranny. One channel by which an artist may borrow is Depiction. In the hands of a naive or immature sensibility, Depiction may drain reality of its essence. For Depiction involves expressing the real in a language that the artist speaks. If this expression is given too much attention then it robs the thing to be expressed of its contextual fabric and becomes a misinformed judgement about a people or society. The audience of such a work feel guilty and misunderstood.

Depiction in art should be treated as an invitation, a point of reference for the audience. Beyond this the artist must lead them into a private journey. A lot of art fails because it makes the assumption that if the art does anything other than Depiction, then it runs the risk of passing a judgement. Indeed, the Depiction is the judgement.