The Devil in Disguise

What a person wants to believe, he also believes true.

                                                                                    (Demosthenes, Athen 384 v. Chr.; † 322 v. Chr.)

Deception and deceit are nothing new. The devil came to Faust in Goethe’s masterpiece as a poodle, like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. Art and literature have been full of such tricks for a long time.

Deception in painting

Before we could catch reality in the lens of a camera, paintings tried to bring historical scenes to life on the canvas. If these oeuvres pretend to show what really happened, then it is only pretence. The ‘actors’ in the scenes, whether soldiers or priests, kings or knaves insisted on being depicted in the most favourable light. True or false – it did not matter.

Play with the senses

Artists have their own agenda and are driven to create something, at times for themselves, at times for the spectator. They answer to their soul or they disrupt, make you feel uncomfortable, or at least make you reflect and think twice. In as much, artists do manipulate. They play on our senses and maybe on the unconscious too. We often interpret more into works of art, then perhaps the artist intended.

We distort what we see

Much later the Impressionists dared to distance themselves from faithfully copying what they saw; they painted impressions, feelings and experimented with light. They were not out to deceive but were also not bent on reproducing a universal truth.

Fake or deception?

Artists have their own agenda and are driven to create something, at times for themselves, at times for the spectator. They answer to their soul or they disrupt, make you feel uncomfortable, or at least make you reflect and think twice. In as much, artists do manipulate. They play on our senses and maybe on the unconscious too. We often interpret more into works of art, then perhaps the artist intended.

If you want to learn more about “The Thrill of Deception”:
The exhibition in Kunsthalle Munich shows Ancient Art to Virtual Reality playing with our senses until 13 January 2019

 

The Devil in Disguise

German

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