Can Art Change the Way We View the World

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Can Art Change the Way We View the World? Susan Agee Classics in Philosophy of Art - P346 Gregory Steel Fall 2012 For centuries, art has been interwoven throughout the history of mankind. From primitive carvings on cave walls and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, to the Sistine Chapel and the Mona Lisa, artistic creations have enthralled the human race. Art may be a window to the creator’s world; it has potential to instill desire in the viewer to do something they have never done, be somewhere they have never been and inspire to fulfill a dream or goal. Additionally, Art may possibly allow the artist to illustrate their own perception of a place or even attempt to deceive the viewer. However, to truly understand how we see the world we…show more content…
To illustrate this idea that perceptual experience may be different than what is real, consider the optical illusion. Artists such as Charles Allan Gilbert and M.C. Escher were masters of the craft of illusion in art. For example, in 1892 Charles Allan Gilbert drew a picture that he called “All is Vanity”. This piece of artwork is an ambiguous optical illusion using a skull, which has been the object of many pieces of this type, where we see more than one thing in the picture. If we view the overall image, we see a human skull. When we focus on the details of the picture, we see a woman looking in her vanity mirror. If we look at a close-up, cropped image of "All is Vanity", we don't see the skull we just see details of a woman sitting at her dressing table. However, if we expand our view, even without seeing the entire image, once we know we're going to see a skull, we can't help but see it. Also, when we look at the picture from a distance, because of all the black surrounding it, once the details of the woman get distorted we still only see a skull. Additionally, M.C. Escher used his expertise in mathematics to create his optical illusions in art. He was fascinated with tessellations, which are arrangements of closed shapes that completely cover the plane without overlapping and without leaving gaps. Typically, the shapes making up a tessellation are polygons or similar regular shapes, such as the square tiles often used on floors. Escher,
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