Thursday, May 29, 2008

Simply Leaves

Nature offers some of the best works of art ever.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

What's Art

The ancient Greek conception of "Art" is very similar to the more continuous Persian concept of "Honar" although, unfortunately, modern post-industrial notions of "Art" have corrupted the original meaning of both conceptions.

In the modern conception, "Art" is about consumption or purchase of something to be kept for purposes of display or pleasure of one form or another. In the ancient conception, it is primarily about a mode of knowing and doing that relates to skill and that can be acquired through simple repetition, as can be learned by a disciple from a master in any trade, but which does not exclude ability for individual "creativity," and in all senses, for productivity.

Often, the Persian--even in their more modern epoch--title their artists the Ostad or literally the "master," in the sense of the word that occurs when we speak of master and disciple or of mastery. Ostad is the one for whom you can be a disciple and one who has attained a level of individual creativity which distinguishes the ostad from all other. (In the same context, unfortunately, the word disciple has been used to refer to a zealot "follower," as if there's anything wrong with being a follower of a master. (See here.) But what I mean here, is "following" for the purpose of discovery and learning the skills of the master.)

You can be an ostad or a masterful artist in anything: playing soccer, writing programs, throwing a frisbee, painting or managing people. The important thing is mastering the art of whatever it is you're doing.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,
but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
- Aristotle (student to Plato (student to Socrates))

The hunter prepares and meditates

What will she hunt?

A Corner for Art

Tehran, Iran (Nov. 2006)
Originally uploaded by M.Mortazavi
In a busy city, art finds a little patch of land, a little corner, where it may show itself.

Bobak's Paintings, Tehran, Iran (Nov. 2006)

A painting on display in the artist's home.