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Topic: Magic is an Art-Form. Therefore, Magicians are… Artists.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 14, 2006 08:35PM)
Magic is an Art!

Magic is an Art-Form.
Therefore, Magicians are… Artists.
Period.

This is not considered, nor made reference to, very often.
Few magicians feel very comfortable confronting this.
The very concept may very well overwhelm us.

But among the Fine-Arts, Magic is
(or should be, or can be)
one of them.

Yup, I’m saying right up there with
Paintings of Monet and Renoir,
and
Operas of Verdi and Puccini,
even the Plays of Shakespeare.

Of course, OK, let’s get real here…

A one brief tour of YouTube Video offerings
found under a “magic” search,
or perhaps a visit to a magician’s convention or local club,
will convince you that it’s in NO way-shape-or-form an ART…
nor, with all the garbage and ego-driven acts out there could it ever be.

But that is just not true…
Look at this list of ten examples of living magicians
who know they are Artists
producing Art:

-Jerome Murat
-Andrew Goldenhirsh
-Kostya Kimlat
-Robert Neale
-Tina Lenert
-Christian Chelman
-David Parr
-Jay Scott Berry
-Dirk Losander
-David London

…and perhaps you could add another ten purely magical artists to this…

But not a lot more--
we’re not talking commercially successful, or coolly-hip, or major famous,
we’re talking consummate, consistent, charismatically magical artists of today.

I believe there are a number of qualities which bring Magic to the state of Art:

Number One for me is succeeding in making Magic….. MAGICAL in nature.
Much magic seen today is anything but wondrous, enchanting, or miraculous.

The Number Two quality, is that of polished professional-quality theatrics.
As a performance-art magic shares the same theatrical qualities and needs,
in common with plays, operas, musicals, ballets,
and other performance-based art-forms.

This means they need motivation, scripting, staging, flow, emotionality, acting and direction, as well as production values and artistic design.

And Number Three, in my list of qualities is having purpose, meaning, or significance, as the performance relates to human life.

When a well prepared and rehearsed piece of magic
is performed with a specific idea or intent behind it,
by an imaginative, disciplined and skilled performer,
the result is as entertaining and emotionally satisfying
than anything you’d ever find in a museum or concert hall.

But first, as “magicians” we must realize there can be MORE to our magic,
than “moves” and “patter”…
we must admit we are potentially “artists” and approach our Work with that mindset.

Study of the other performance arts,
and the history and modes of our own is necessary,
along with much more creative effort and hard work,
as well as building a team of other artists skilled in
writing, directing, and production to support our vision as necessary,

One of the problems with magic today is that it is seen as a solitary pursuit,
we think we can, or have to, produce something wonderful all on our own.

The Performing Arts by nature cry out for collaboration!
There are just too many aspects to an entertaining performance
to be mastered by one lone performer.

There is much we can learn from the worlds of theatre, fine art, music, and dance,
and all these can be seamlessly integrated into our acts, to make our magic far more Magical in nature and design.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful…
if even half the magic videos on YouTube
were stunningly beautiful, amazingly skillful,
and astoundingly enchanting little pieces of a theatrical nature…
rather than under-rehearsed, clumsy, performers
stumbling through some standard card trick or illusion,
stuttering meaningless words, and unsure of his next movements?

I believe we can strive to be SO much more than we are…
if only we participate in supporting one another as practicing Artists…
and demand and expect ONLY the best, from one another!

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Loual4 (Dec 15, 2006 09:45AM)
Wow! Great post Walt!

I agree with you 100%! Art can take many forms, and discussed in many ways (whether appreciated or not...). But like you say, we do need to treat it as such, and work on our presentations and techniques. The struggle to improve what we dish out is key to establish ourselves as artists.

Have a nice day!

Louis Jutras
Message: Posted by: Suppo (Dec 15, 2006 10:16AM)
Nice essay and agree. Inclusion rather than exclusion is a great way to go.
Message: Posted by: calamari (Dec 15, 2006 10:58AM)
Art in every aspect, as is beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Yo Yo Ma(sp) is to Cello as Eddie Van Halen is to rock guitar. Pavarati(sp) is to Opera as LL Cool J is to Hip Hop. Walt I want to make sure everyone (NEW TO MAGIC) does not get the idea that artistic means classical or opera style it does not mean slow and beautifull, orchestrated and sensitive although it can be all those things it can also be hard and gritty, fast and noisy, young, fresh and completly outragous. It does not have to please everyones tastes.It does not have to be loved by everyone.
It does have to be great, it does have to come from your heart and soul. it does have to be your own personal contribution, original and new to be considered art.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Dec 15, 2006 11:06AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-15 11:58, calamari wrote:
Walt I want to make sure everyone (NEW TO MAGIC) does not get the idea that artistic means classical or opera style it does not mean slow and beautifull, orchestrated and sensitive although it can be all those things it can also be hard and gritty, fast and noisy, young, fresh and completly outragous. It does not have to please everyones tastes.It does not have to be loved by everyone.
[/quote]

Brilliant! This is such a misunderstood concept among any artform, I'm so glad you've put it in such a well crafted thought. Many of the greatest artists of all time were considered gritty, noisy, and were NOT loved by everyone at the time they were making their statements to the world.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 15, 2006 11:38AM)
Calamari,
You're right on the button.

It can be modern art or classical art,
Mozart or Hip-hop it does not matter the form.

The point is, Art in any form is NOT fast or easy,
and the magic catalogues tell us it IS fast and easy!

A good point of differentiation for the new magician.

Thanks,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Dec 16, 2006 12:01AM)
This topic is already in progress at [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=189815&forum=27]Magic 'is' an Art![/url].