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Danto C Arthur

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Arthur C. Danto’s philosophical thinking about art leads the reader through extensive range of examples distinguishing art from non-art and that “one could tell them apart from ordinary things as easily as one could tell one ordinary thing from another – a hawk from a handsaw, say. So obvious was the distinction between art and everything else.”(Danto C. Arthur) His ability to distinguish art is one of Danto’s greatest contributions to aesthetics. Danto seeks to persuade that the difference between art and non-art is not visible any more, even if it remains in it. He explains the art of post-historical period with his great and deep knowledge of the world of art. He critically explains the contemporary art. “When the Museum of Modern Art opened the first gallery, the distinction between pictures drawn by Nature’s Pencil and those by the hand-held pencils of painters dropped out the concept of art. […] The borderlines expanded and dilated under pressures of various sorts: articles of furniture, for example, would have been considered works of art in the nineteenth century, when made of precious veneers and elegantly designed by master ébénistes. […] But when Jacques-Louis David, associating these luxurious objects with the aristocracy, drew a sharp line between High Art and practical art, objects of vertu had to emigrate, like their noble patrons, and became craft instead of art.”(Danto, C. Arthur) No one can be involved in the world of art the way Arthur C. Danto does.

His passionate interest in art was further inspired by the outrageous installation, Brillo boxes that wonderfully filled the space in the gallery, made by Andy Warhol. He analyses the history and the reasons why these boxes were made so good. “Brillo carton is not simply a container for Brillo pads “(Danto, C. Arthur) Then Danto describes every single detail of the process of making those boxes. He describes every zone, every letter. He explains each color, its meaning. He also gives detailed explanation of origin of every vowel and consonant. “The carton conveys excitement, even ecstasy, and is in its own way  a masterpiece of visual rhetoric, intended to move minds to the act of purchase and then of application.”(Danto, C. Arthur) So these boxes are not just carton, they are an example of fine art.

In the post-historical period everything is possible. One can make any kind of art. According to Dante, in post-history, philosophy and art are separate; art may exist everywhere she wants, without any definitions. “In the twentieth century […] through certain international transformations in the history of art, works of art began to appear which either were, or appeared to be objects of daily life and use […] and would certainly have been considered outside the scope of art.”(Danto C Arthur) Brillo Boxes are his favorite example. He represents Brillo boxes as art – philosophy. And when art becomes philosophy, the history of art is over.

The idea that we live in a world in which anything can be a work of art shows me once again that it is necessary to stop and have a look to every detail that surrounds us. There is always something happening. Every day a new work of art is being born, be it a baby or a painting of one of numerous artists. Art is everywhere. It is embodied in every personality, every building, every animal, every song, every tattoo, every emotion, and every package in a store. We are to try to “feed” ourselves with energy of art and produce it as well as consume it. Almost every word and every article of our daily life has its tacitly covered meaning and history, and our mission is to complete this world with a new masterpiece.

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