Most people and children understand that superheroes and cartoon characters are make-believe, and they don’t literally try to be cartoon characters in real life.
I recently joined DeviantArt.com, but I was disappointed by all saturation of anime and fantasy art. I searched under figurative, fine art, oil painting, and etc. There were some fine art works, realistic representational and figurative art, but only about 5%. DeviantArt claims it is the “largest online art gallery and community.” It is safe to assume anime/fantasy/comic art is a widespread art movement. Truthfully, I like comics and fantasy, and I don’t like anime. And truly, in art, everyone is free to do whatever.
Art is perhaps the most powerful psychological enhancer that exists. Visual art predates religion, philosophy, and the written word by 30,000; and it was the thing that rewired our brains that made us cognitive, self-aware, and realistically imaginative. Art is the thing that synergizes our thoughts, emotions, and perception as a whole unit.*
The predominate art of culture is a projection of where that culture is heading. Art is subliminally programing everyone one who spends serious time contemplating it. It is my belief that is the nature of art, it is a very sophisticated brainwashing mechanism, that can be used for good or bad depending on the emotional intelligence of the artists.**
Last week I visited the Mirus Gallery in Los Angele’s Arts District, huge space, and the art there mirrored the prominent art that is on DeviantArt. It did have a few beautiful realistic figurative works, but again, in the minority.
To my eye, most of the works had very little life to them. Art is made up of mental and perceptual connections: too mental and it goes dead; and too perceptual and it becomes a visual information dump. The mind helps guide the big picture, and direct perception gives freshness, gives life to the visual concept.***
Most people and children understand that superheroes and cartoon characters are make-believe, and they don’t literally try to be cartoon characters in real life. But there is an interesting development in the anime and fantasy art, many artists are trying to make the fantasies look real using fine art means. As in the Bjpentecost piece above.
The one thing I find weird about superheroes and cartoon characters is that you can’t fashion your life on them. You will never have a super power. A petite delicate young woman should feel afraid visiting dark alleys and seeking dangerous people at three o’clock in the morning, no matter how much Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, instills fearlessness. Can art impart irrational confidence, or inject self-loathing if one takes the art more real than reality?
Great fine art has a realistic feel to it, it feels literally believable. And benevolent fine art can inspire your most inspired dreams. To have love, to live in an exciting way, and to achieve your goals. The combination of realistic imagination and perceptual realism can give the viewer of certainty that with effort they live a great life in real life.
Anime and fantasy can’t be taken seriously in that regard.
Michael, Idyllwild, June 19, 2022
Frame of References:
DeviantArt, Twitter. https://twitter.com/DeviantArt
*Newberry, Michael. Evolution Through Art. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095MGMQV7/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0
**Newberry, Michael. Art Is a PsyOp. https://newberryarchive.wordpress.com/2021/11/19/art-is-a-psyop/
***Newberry, Michael. Critiquing Art: Look For What is Alive. https://newberryarchive.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/critiquing-art-look-for-what-is-alive-2/