PURE ART V APPLIED ART

 

Advertising is often criticised for being trivial.

The truth is, it’s only trivial if it’s done correctly.

If it recognises it’s place.

When advertising is done badly it’s pompous, self-important, and overblown.

Get it right, advertising is not fine art.

Advertising is applied art.

It’s the same as the difference between pure-math and applied-math.

Pure math makes discoveries, but it doesn’t know what for.

Applied math works out how to use those discoveries in the real world.

Think of the DADA movement in the 1920s.

Who was the leader and the most famous person?

Most people would say Duchamp.

Now which pieces are the most iconic, most memorable?

Most people would say, the iron with a line of tin tacks down the face.

Or else they’d say, the back of the naked woman painted like a cello.

Or else the beads of glass making tears, under a woman’s eyelashes.

None of these were made by Duchamp.

They were all made by Man Ray.

Duchamp did the thinking, he led the way.

Duchamp was theory, he created ‘readymades’.

The theory behind his thinking was truly inspirational for other artists.

It showed them possibilities they hadn’t seen before.

But it’s just too long for ordinary people.

Man Ray did the applied art that the rest of us can access easily.

He took something very complicated, and made it simple and easy to understand.

That’s our job.

Simplify, clarify, and deliver in a memorable way.

That’s what advertising is.

More Man Ray than Duchamp.