|2007- Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, Louvre, Paris|
Their quest for technical perfection would often be strongly criticized by their detractors and their art would take longer to reach global recognition as higher artistic craft.
The criticism often comes from the assumption that the artist is more concerned with formal virtuosity, while giving content little or no importance. Their works are then termed sterile, unemotional, artificial, void.
I am for perfection.
I admire whoever aims at it. The history of the arts and science has taught us that those who have aimed at perfection were the ones who reached up to the highest peaks of excellence. Yet, the value of their masterpieces was only acknowledged decades - if not centuries - later!
I often like to recall the urban legend according to which Paganini, probably the highest violin virtuoso in the history of music, was once violently criticized during a performance because of his search for technical complexity. In answer to that, he stripped his violin bare of all its chords except one, to then complete the concert on one chord only.
I don't know the percentage of truth in this anecdote, and I'm pretty sure it's never been officially confirmed. Yet, it makes a point: those who criticize a search for perfection are just envious of an ability they don't have - and will never have. The best way to spite them is to continue, unperturbed, on our path. Gain talent, and they'll chew their intestines off of it!
There's nothing wrong with a sane obsession for the minutest details, as long as the acting is not unemotional, the writing sterile, the music uninspiring, and the playing bleak.
Technical precision allows us to convey a meaning exactly the way we want to. We need an alembic for contents, or we'll just have a heap of meaningless material.
I'd rather aim at perfection and miserably fail than produce mediocrity.
Are you a perfectionist?
What is perfection to you?