Paintings by Dianne Mize

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Where's the Courage?

Another study from deck   Gouache on paper  4" x 5 1/2"  
I wonder, when Chopin wrote his Études, whether he had any notion that nearly 200 years later they would receive attention equal to his larger, more complex works.  We listen to them today without realizing that when they first appeared, they were radical, challenging the established techniques for playing piano.  Radical, bold yet a part of an evolutionary process rather than jumping off the cliff and daring others to follow.

I was angry yesterday and you got a whiff of it in my blog entry.  I was angry because I sense in our culture the loss of courage to be real.  On the one hand, I had been witness to an artist hiding behind plagiarism in order to be bold and acceptable; on the other, young artists being instructed to be bold, to push the limits of their "creative boundaries and technical skills," but left unsaid was that their productions had to be acceptable to the bias of their judges.

Chopin made a discovery that evolved from his native creative process.  It was radical and challenging to accepted standards of his time.  But it happened as a result of an evolving process, allowing his acquired skills to respond to his imagination.  I'd like to see more of today's artists claim that kind of courage.

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