“You shouldn’t major in drawing.”
It was my sophomore year of college and I was perched on a rolling chair in my advisor’s office. “Why not?” I asked.
“Because art schools won’t take you seriously.”
I’m sad to say she was right. Since the prominence of the craftsperson gave way to the elevated role of the professional artist around the 1300s, much of the Western art world has considered drawing to be a lower and (literally) cheaper art form than the ostensibly more refined world of painting.
I chose to major in drawing anyway, fascinated by the questions it raises that the art world generally ignores: What can drawing do that other mediums cannot? When is a drawing a preliminary sketch, only created so it can disappear behind coats of glossy paint, and when is it a final product? Or can it be both? And how do we even define “drawing”?
Featured image: Installation view of Drawing as Practice at the National Academy of Design (photo Isabella Segalovich/Hyperallergic)
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