Sunday, September 14, 2008

Interpretation Essay

Why do parents love their children? Why do architects love their buildings? Why do authors love the characters in their books? Why do people love the things that they have created SO much? It could be because each creation is a part of the creator and perhaps the part the creator loves best.

The story of the artist, Pygmalion, is a story of how art can not only effect those who view it, but also effect the artist and his life. Art can change an artist's life by explaining how the artist feels about the world, about others, and about himself. Art can also change an artist's life by making him a wealthy person. Artist authors like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling become wealthy and can change their family's lives. Artist actors can influence people politically or ethically by their popularity. Artist musicians make statements through their music that can become a soundtrack for a revolution.

Pygmalion was an artist who hated all women in general and decided that art was all he needed in life. Because of this, his strongest hatred became his strongest interest and he decided to create a sculpture of a woman. Perhaps he chose this because he wanted to create a woman that he would not hate. Maybe he also chose to make her so beautiful and perfect that all real women would pale in comparison, thus punishing them.

Pygmalion created a statue so beautiful that he fell in love with it. Just like the professor in the movie " My Fair Lady", he fell in love with his own creation. In My Fair Lady the gentleman brags that he can turn even a beggar into a lady and then he falls in love with her. "He had fallen in love, deeply, passionately in love, with the thing he had made."

The Goddess of Love, Venus, wanted to find someone who's love was original and help them. She took pity on Pygmalion and turned his statue into a live woman that he named Galatea.

In this myth, art is a catalyst for change. It changes the artist's attitude toward women. He ends up getting married and having a child which changes his life. The art itself changes from a hard,cold,inanimate object into a real person just like he changed from a hard, cold, non-loving person, into a loving husband and father.

As Pygmalion changes stone into a woman, he is showing the part of himself that can love. When the statue became so perfect it couldn't be recognized as a statue anymore. "The supreme achievement of art was his, the art of concealig art." Even though Pygmalion only wanted to love art, he ended up loving in a more human sense because his creation was so lifelike. He treated his art like a real person and so she became a real person to him. At that point, he was no longer loving the statue as art but as a person.

When Venus turned the statue into a living woman, she was actually only making the last step in Pygmalion's metamorphosis. Pygmalion had already changed himself by creating a woman that he could love.

Art is a catalyst for change. Sometimes art changes the creator more than anybody else.

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