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The “Beholder’s Share” (The Importance of Reproductions) So, what is the “Beholder’s Share”? Can ‘share’ mean responsibility for, contribution toward, involvement with, of creative completion? Or, more simply, a “take it or leave it” situation? The question is particularly germane regarding abstract, non-objective Art. Especially since figurative images are usually recognized and viewers’ abstracting capacity is not required for the visual exchange. Even the notion of ‘art appreciation’, an evaluative construct, does not seem to comport with aesthetic experiences, per se. Aesthetic arousal through creative viewing, by any beholder, is one of the beholder’s share; and what an enormous share it is!! Why? Because no actual significance or meaning (save the artist’s thrust) is actively given to a composition, except by the beholder. Furthermore, the stuff of aesthetic experience is imbued with an emotional investment in the composition, painting or print. Therefore, a composition that continues to bear repeated viewings, over time, will also continue to gain favor, gain capital, assume meaning for the consistent viewer. Or, lose its connection with the observer. Loss of interest may be a defining measure of a works aesthetic potency, or lack thereof. Couching the importance of aesthetic experience in terms of 'arousal' and 'potency' may seem odd at first. However, the experience of being captivated by a piece in a museum or gallery can hardly rate as connection during the short time that is spent with it. Music, on the other hand, is recorded and rerecorded so as to provide the listener the very opportunity of benefiting from every repeated sound nuance: ever affect reproduced in a listener, as many times as that person desires - (read 'need to reconnect'). How many times must one go to a museum or gallery to view an imprisoned masterpiece to experience its aesthetic potency, to partake of their share? Few can afford to purchase masterpieces and many times if they do, the purchases are for investment or trading for profit. So, are serious beholders being denied their share of the entire shadow art world?? For this writer, the answer is, perhaps surprisingly, NO!; because the quality of affordable reproductions has improved enormously and could repair the chasm between unaffordable abstract compositions and new reproductions of old masters and the many highly-skilled creators of Abstract and Non-Objective Art. Affordable figurative reproductions would flourish as well with the advent of very high-quality reproductions. Obviously, affordability would lead to ownership and provide more time to creatively view and lend meaning to any image of your choice. Abstract art and non-objective art does allow the beholder ample opportunity to engage in a very complex conversation that functions on a visceral, intellectual and neurological level by becoming more and more conscious of your own capacity ‘to abstract’. Abstracting is the gerund of the verb ‘to abstract’. Abstracting is synonymous with making-meaning; giving meaning to your favorite pieces of abstract art and virtually everything else you value. Overall, the 'beholder's share' contributes to one's Personal Development, however development takes time. If only the 'so-called' art-world would relax the stigma associated with affordable reproductions, anyone could own such a reproduction and enjoy their share of aesthetic pleasure, Much like the books in our personal libraries that are not original manuscripts. A reproduction would need to 'hold-up' to its aesthetic promise, its 'aesthetic arousal' or succumb to its lack of 'aesthetic potency'; its failure to attract. What follows is an addendum of collected phases and ideas that, hopefully, will make the case for The Importance of Reproductions. Reproductions are also images that offer interested viewers to take optical risks, allowing artists' vision to emerge, not based on realistic portrayal of anything....interpretive freedom..... with each and every observation.Once a composition reveals its newness and mystery the observer is on a visceral, intellectual & neurological level that may open to sensitivities and reflections from one's fondest memories.Art is for sharing, it can be charged with ambiguities that take a little time to decode; cognitive representations that are not solely visual but include feelings and empathic power.Looking at reproductions in a completely different way by holding them to as high a standard as a beholder's share, the viewing experience is much more critical than had once been acknowledged.The value of reproductions lie in their accessibility, being at least as affordable as mass-manufactured glitter found in box stores.Through Augmented Reality, technology on a smart phone, we have the luxury to view enlarged or shrunken images that match the size of your wall.Reproductions of one's careful and informed choice, including size, framing, canvas quality, packaging, etc. can be arranged to be delivered in a few days. This convenience is due to the current stewards of high-quality reproductions. Companies that are capable of delivering.
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