Since I became aware that lately became a little sloppy in giving regular updates, I decided to recycle on of my older posts where I was pondering about the tension field between artists and scientists. My general take upon this issue is that artists tend to have a synthetic approach towards the reality while scientists favor more the analytical method.
There really are no such things as Art or Science. There are only artists and scientists. Take as an example all those discussions about Leonardo; his art and science. For Leonardo, art was a skill, a know-how applied both to his scientific experiments and to painting. I go back deliberately to the old meaning of the term “art,” when art was identified with skill or mastery – the art of war, the art of love, or whatever else. Art is something with a skill. There’s no disembodied skill as such; skill is always applied to a particular task.
Art has to do with the embodiment of our value systems: we value elegance and tenderness; love and other such emotions are ingredients in our value system. I do think that the intellectual level of discourse of, say, a number of great scientists and Nobel Prize winners, is much higher than the level of discourse in most art criticism. Much of the activity of art historians has been wedded to whatever is fashionable in the art market at a given time. There is a constant temptation for artists to be sensationalists – not to make great works of art or even minor works of art but merely talking points – and to achieve notoriety for a time.
Artistry can be defined as having mastered a skill sufficiently enough so that you don’t have to think about it; you live it. Artistry is the bridge between concept and craft. Once you have mastered a skill you can transcend technicalities and focus on creating, inventing and innovating. Artists and scientists constantly work their crafts by developing their skills. In order to take on more challenge and stay in the flow, you constantly need to learn new skills. Mastery is what separates the virtuoso from the technician; in science, art and living.
Art and science are the results of actions by people who’re living while paying attention.
Featured image: Last Supper on Utila, acryl on canvas 40 over 30 cm by Urban Vyaas (Mar. 20, 2021).