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Life imitates art far more than art imitates life by Oscar Wilde - Essay Example

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In 1889, Oscar Wilde declared in his essay The Decay of Lying his most thought pertaining to the capacity of life for imitative instinct: "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates life." This is in opposition to the conventional relationship between life and art wherein the…
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Life imitates art far more than art imitates life by Oscar Wilde
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Life imitates art far more than art imitates life by Oscar Wilde

Download file to see previous pages... George Bernard Shaw is one of those who were quick to side with Wilde. When he wrote his opus, Three Plays for Puritans, he argued that "when a certain type of feature appears in painting and is admired as beautiful, it presently becomes common in nature; so that the Beatrices and Francescas in the picture galleries of one generation come to life as the parlor-maids and waitresses of the next" (xix). This is also not unlike when fads and trends emerge after it appears on films and videos especially today with the permeation of content-rich media. This phenomenon is not limited to the visual art because it is also true in cases of literature and other cultural artifacts. For instance, not a few real life stories have been patterned after Romeo and Juliet or Ophelia or Tristan and Isolde. Remarking about the penchant of people to pattern their experiences out of the characters of this literary masterpieces, Kirwan explained that stories are a way of taming the world wherein the uncultivated is systematized into stories that we can tell ourselves and feel good about (150). What this tells us is that art can dictate a particular way of life or an aspect of it because the way it represents substance, notoriety or sophistication, among other concepts attached to it, it appeals to people as they negotiate their relationships within a community. For some, there is a need to standout, for others, notoriety or substance.
Every year, the Art Institute of Chicago holds a photo competition that works around the theme of life imitating art. Here participants shoot photographs of themselves or of others as they copy and imitate artworks in various states of fidelity, some with uncanny accuracy, while some are tinged with a sense of humor and creativity. An excellent example of an initiative in this kind of literal tradition was when several years ago, the town of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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