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The Oddities In Art Essay

1352 words - 6 pages

Anything can be art, depending on who is looking at it. There are so many different definitions and types of artwork. There are paintings, sketchings, pottery, poetry, literature, music, movies, and collections; just to name a few. Some pieces of art are seen as more exquisite and picturesque than others. These masterpieces are at the stop of the hierarchal “art world.” Some examples may include music by Mozart or paintings by Von Gogh. To be among the top of the hierarchy demonstrates much prestige. Although my art teacher’s stained glass paintings are absolutely beautiful, they may only rank in the middle of the hierarchy. The pieces of art farther down and at the bottom of the hierarchy ...view middle of the document...

However, if I had just a single dried flower I would be more likely to just throw it out. By being part of a collection, the flowers gain additional sentimental value and I would not be as likely to throw the bouquet away. In this way, collections allow the ordinary to become the extraordinary.
Any ordinary item can be seen as a piece of art once included in a collection. Collections bring delight to not only the collectors themselves, but also to those who get to see them. However, not all collectors show their collections. This may be because they think that showing others would diminish their passion or fascination with what they collect. This could happen if the collectors receive negative feedback about their collection. If spectators were to think of the collection as stupid or useless, then the collector may feel discouraged and collecting may lose its appeal. Feedback from other people is what determines the status of any collection. As Johnson says, “All decentralized systems rely extensively on feedback, for both growth and self-regulation” (192). Therefore, if spectators see the collection as marvelous, the collector will earnestly continue collecting and looking for things that are bigger and better. This allows the collection to grow and keep the spectators interested. By increasing interest in the collection, spectators continue to give positive feedback, creating a feedback loop. The amount of positive feedback that the collection receives determines its level in the hierarchal “art world.” In this way, only the collections that receive the most positive feedback are at the top.
Any collection, whether it be of worthless nails or valuable antique cars, can be considered art and captivate attention. As Kimmelman says, “Just as art promises wonderment...a collection of things, even everyday things, promises wonderment” (218, 219). However, the more extensive the collection, the more wonderment it will bring. In this way the largest collections are often the most mesmerizing ones and gain the most attention. Those that gain more attention often gain more positive feedback. By receiving more positive feedback, those collections tend to gain more art prestige. Some collections even rank among the most prestigious pieces of art and are at the top of the hierarchal “art world.” Wonder cabinets fall into this category. They contain “the biggest, smallest, the rarest, the most exquisite, the most bizarre, the most grotesque” (Kimmelman 221). In this way, wonder cabinets contain many variations of an item that draw much attention and wonderment. Kimmelman defines wonderment as “an access to a realm beyond the everyday, through the experience of which we may understand the everyday better” (218). Wonder cabinets transform how we look at items that we may see everyday. This is because collectors search for the oddities of the everyday item. Rather than just collecting the “normal” and “regular” objects, wonder cabinet collectors search...

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