Monday, October 7, 2013

Are names really that important?

      I found the part Scharfstein wrote about the ideal of the anonymous craftsman very interesting. As I read on, one artist really struck my interest. Shoji Hamanda refused to sign any of his works of pottery simply due to the fact that he thought names shouldn’t change the person’s perception of the piece. Personally, I agree very much so with this action. If you like the art, what does a name have anything to do with it? If the person buying the piece likes it enough, they should like it primarily because they really like the piece, not because of the name signed at the bottom. Besides, sometimes signatures and pieces of artwork can be forged. For example: when Professor Langguth talked about pieces of Rembrandt's that were forged and signed with his name. I feel as though a name doesn’t really need to be on a piece of artwork because if you want to like it, like it. If it is forged, it’s forged, but you still like the piece nonetheless. Do you agree or disagee?


  1. I agree to an extent -- the artist is altogether overemphasized on an obscene level, especially (it seems) in modern times. However, at least on a practical level, I think our appreciation of art is directly tied to (though not exclusively) our expectations of the intent behind it, and often knowing about the artist and the process which resulted in a particular piece can enhance our understanding and appreciation of the intent in a piece of art on a level independent from the "cult of genius" type worship we often see now. It's like "aesthetic disappointment" in reverse -- "aesthetic enrichment," if you will. A piece of art is never entirely separate from its artist or its history.

  2. I agree with Burton. It shouldn't be a point to make a huge deal about who the artist is, however as Scharfstein writes in his book, some artists become so emotionally attached to their pieces that they feel as if it is almost a child to them. If someone else were to copy this work, and the artist had not signed it, would it be like stealing a child from that artist? Sorry that I'm bringing a little bit of ethics into this, but I felt it was appropriate

  3. As a piece of history, etching an artist's name or label on a piece holds that it is an original and loses no value by doing so. We can respect a piece of art as a story telling object and if anything, it is nothing more than a historical remembrance that they were there and made something that challenged how people saw it.