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The Struggle of the Art Historian

Hello and welcome back to Carivaggio!


Today I wanted to take some time to let my readers get to know me a little better. I know this is drifting from our usual format but I want to use this platform as an outlet for people to understand where my passion stems from.


I fell in love with art because I knew that art was something greater than physical pictures of the past. Art exists outside of itself and is part of a greater story that all connects. Often times people look at a painting and see one moment in time; when I look at a piece I see many historical dots connecting for one moment which provides a window into history. This idea is what followed me throughout my academic journey. I held onto the idea that people understood art as I did and they valued each work for its contribution to the larger art historical timeline. However, as I expanded my network, met more art history students, and eventually found myself in the modern day art world, I became disenchanted with contemporary values placed on art.


I always found it hard to bridge the gap between my love of classical art and what role I would play in today’s art world. In fact, I am still struggling with this very idea.


The only thing that comes naturally to me is teaching. Anyone who has met me in person knows that once I get started talking about anything related to art, I can’t stop. I think that even a basic understanding of art will elevate a person’s knowledge of the world to a higher plane. Art is the window to the past, but simultaneously a physical timeline which leads us into the future. Where does this lead me? A young girl with a huge passion to pass on ancient knowledge with no place to do so.


One of my lifelong goals was to continue my education in Italy and receive my masters in the art of the Baroque and Rococo. After getting accepted to the program I was aiming for, the pandemic swiftly put all those plans to a halt. I know that the world is struggling but it was safe to say that I was extremely sad and disappointed. I wasn’t as upset that I could not go abroad, but because I knew that my learning would take a backseat for a while and I would not be able to exercise and expand upon my very niche skillset.


That is why I started my own blog - I wanted to both teach and learn. I will say that writing these pieces brings me both joy and sadness. I love discussing works and telling you all the secrets behind them; but it also reminds me of how far removed I am from it all. I can't go to museums and feel these works up close. For me art is tangible, since its physicality shows me that what I have dedicated myself to is real and true. In the end I have had to realize that the world has changed, but the art that I am so connected to will remain stable, never to move, fade, or disappear. I will have to be patient and know that my desire will only grow stronger with time, and will push me to understand things that I never have before. The importance of tangibility to the art historian has never been more clear.


People always ask me, "Why do you need to see art in person? Can't you just look it up online?” But they are missing the point. Art is not one dimensional, art is not three dimensional. Art is infinitely dimensional, with physical layers, emotional layers, philosophical layers, mathematical layers, metaphorical layers, and so on. There is not just one thing to see. As I keep saying, art has a certain tangibility that can only be experienced by dedicating yourself to its study, and dedicating yourself to the journey of the work itself. And one artwork does not exist on its own. It is surrounded by all other works on the timeline of art history. You need to see what works surround each piece to understand whatever picture you are looking at. A museum does not exist for one artwork alone. It does not exist to house works in random order with no context. It is curated for a reason - to give you the most context and understanding for each work you are consuming (that is if the museum does its curation correctly).


So there you have it. I love art for a reason most people do not understand. I feel that I can access all of history tangibly and easily through a timeline of pictures. The problem the art historian faces today is that the timeline of art history is being skewed by both greediness and the unregulated nature of the art world. I fear that the only thing people value in art today is money. But the real value rests in how art today adds to the incredible timeline of art history, which sadly very few people care about. My goal in life is to tell you how important art is to all of us and why we should all be educated in this field so that we will not succumb to the perils and pitfalls of the unregulated art market.


With that I will say to you all that I am sorry for the lack of posting on this site and will continue to work hard to not get caught in the confusion that this pandemic has brought down on all of us. I hope this blog will bring you joy, entertainment, and most of all education in all of its future posts.


Please let me know what you would like to learn about on here. Below I have added some artworks that inspire me to keep the faith.


See you soon,

Cari









*I OWN ALL OF THESE IMAGES.


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