Art and Information

March 11, 2011

Portrait of an Artist (Photographer Paul Hewitt. )

Portrait of an Artist. Collage

I have the ability to grasp the likeness. I guess, it is like a musical ear. One can be taught to draw people, as well as play music. Beyond the skill it’s down to some undefinable magic which makes the whole difference.

What makes a portrait so appealing? Is it a thirst to know more about human kind? How people’s inner-selves correspond to their looks? Or the geography of the human face and the diversity of it? The ethnography. The sociology. The history. One comes to realise how much information can be drawn from an appearance, and therefore through a portrait.

I remember reading some literary critic writing on A.S.Pushkin. What struck me most in that article was that Pushkin’s works were very informatively dense. Every word counted. Interesting. Information is the key to a successful art(or any other)work. Information is God. Isn’t the Art itself information? Or everything is?..

A portrait is a good piece of art, if it manages to covey as much information as possible about the sitter. Even better, if it does it without being too literal. The information readable on the level of emotions rather than brain. How does one achieve it?