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Artist vs. Craftsman (1)

I can identify three distinct events in my life that have forced me to reflect on the inherent conflict between abstract role-types.

  1. When I found out that legendary artist and/or craftsman Maurits Cornelis Escher (17 June 1898 – 27 March 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher… distinctly referred to himself as a craftsman, and NOT an artist… and eventually ended up resigning when people would refer to him as an artist.
  2. When I was in College, I as did most of my peers, flirted with Marxism and Socialism. This involved reading Marx and eventually accepting (and copying) his perception of the struggle between different roles in society. One that I always found fascinating about this was the conflict Marx pointed out as being part of the working class itself, and hence not as part of the more famous struggle between classes. Marx pointed out that within the working class there is a conflict between the intellectuals and the physical workers… but eventually his conclusion was that the more important struggle between the classes could not be won unless the intellectuals and physical laborers would join forces… to apply Marx’s famous dualism to this phenomena intrigued me to think about the inherent diversity between what I later came to know as “Artists and Craftsmen”.
  3. When I read “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” by Anthony Bourdain… where he very strongly claims that he would never want an “artist” to work for him as a chef… and that he always ONLY would hire “craftsmen”… and on a completely irrelevant sidenote: states that among some of the strongest nations in providing Chef’s with strong craftsmen capabilities is Puerto Rico, the little known protectorate of the USA.

All these events came back to me today, when I could see that Morten Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler had touched down on this topic in their delightful and provocative (crazy) drawings with innocent look-and-feel…

Check it out…

(http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/strip.aspx?id=fcb8ba15-f0f1-449d-895f-dab86a851e83)

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