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Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky


Art for children and not only for them




The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.




First of all, as usual, it is necessary to define the terms. "Children" - the concept is extremely broad, and I propose to divide at least the standard categories: "pre-school" and "school" age.

As is known, if not started and not properly built to work with the child in preschool age, then everything much more difficult. And talk about "art for children", I propose to begin with it, more precisely, with an amazing and unique time - from two to five. Well, that "give" a child two to five?

With the literature, it would seem easier. There is a huge reservoir of children, child of literature from Russian folk tales to "Uncle Styopa". By the way, and with them the situation is ambiguous, but now the only state that children's literature there is strong demand. Even in the academic editions of the classics still stands at the end of the separate category of "Poems for children". And what to do with these types of art, such as painting, sculpture, music, graphics, etc?

In my head somehow immediately comes something like the design of children's rooms in fashion magazines. Then you start to think "children's" works of composers - so it's not "children"and "to teach children", i.e. some way simplified. And what "adult" music to include in the same child? Probably every right to say, not only heavy rock or metal, and classical music more or less whole. With this we will not argue, and ask the following question: what paintings to hang in the nursery, which albums to let the child see?

Let's not forget that the child - from two to five", it is difficult to give any conclusive review. His perception primarily auditory, visual and tactile, and he is our explanation of the type "well, the picture is terrible, but it is a great art (Picasso, for example), so look at her, son, obstragirovanno from specific bombing specific Guernica, perceive as a masterpiece, and nothing more" - and nothing will not. The child will look at the figures on the canvas. What he sees in them? Not affect whether the picture on the child's psyche negative way?

Well, I foresee the readers of "soul-saving" recommendations: if there is a risk of negative emotions, why risk it? The child must be fully protected from art, he must traced images with details when eyes - something with cilia (I'm not kidding, this is the Director said to me a solid children's publishing house). And who the most-the longest eyelashes? Of course, the Disney characters!

Here is a modern point of view of the "mass market". But Disney (with my great respect for this Corporation) - like a drug. Once the plant "on his child - and off it went! Disney's all-embracing, has products for any age and level of development, something even teaches. And then - a clear line on mass culture, Hollywood and other Americans are perfectly able to form a citizen needs the state and the economy.

The art here, however, at anything. And if seriously consider the problem of art for children, one of the main objectives will be the highest possible orientation of the child not to mass culture, but on the works of art, and these, in any form, even black-and-white reproductions. But, again, all, or not all?

Back to Guernica Picasso in the apartment where the child lives "from two to five. So isn't it better to remove it from the wall, until the child is at least grows up?

Here, I foresee serious objections, and from the most intelligent people with the most broad-minded. Why, they say, do not teach a child "from childhood" to Picasso? And by Rembrandt, I will say, too, can not? In General, the child is able to perceive any art, if art (Picasso - art of arts). Let perceives as it may, it is still his life sooner or later arise and with blood, and wars, and dirt. Yeah turn on the TV, you'll see something you never dreamed Salvador Dali!

Yes, dear potential opponents, formally, you are right. Moreover - and "appropriate" video your child eventually get out of the closet, where you naive hidden away, and in the yard (kindergarten) from his peers do not protect...

But we're talking about art. After all, if the child is from two to five" saw on TV something "wrong" and was able to understand, you will understand, and your comment that it is not, it is wrong, etc. your Comment to art he will not understand now, but much later, if you understand at all.

But the impact on the child's artwork this does not diminish. That impact, as it most seriously.

How to evaluate the gravity of the impact on child and an adult, even with the higher security) works of art? This will be useful to cite a few examples.

Comrade Stalin, as is known, often spending time in vain. And if, down his dictatorship, he has given so much "attention" it's art, destroying some and raising others, he did not simply so.

And if Nicholas I, who had a lot of worries, autocratic managing a colossal Empire, spent the time to read (censorship) all the works of Pushkin, he did not simply so.

And not just saying Osip Mandelstam, that the art we are very respected, because only we have him killed.

Well, kill, say, not only here, but in Germany, and Argentina, and Chile, and elsewhere, but it because of something else: why kill something? Why bulldozers to crush the exhibition, if we are talking only about what kind of picture you can or cannot hang in the nursery (in the gallery, in the Museum)? Designers reason nobody bulldozers never pressured...

So, there is a modest reproduction on the wall of your house a grain of what killed Stalin? And he, as we have said, little is done in vain. As, however, and his Majesty Nicholas I, and genosse Hitler, and Senor Pinochet...

So what is it about art?

This artist has not only secrets. He owns a greater ability to process and translate the deep layers of your subconscious to give his picture, if you want some energy charge. But what is the question.

The energetic charge, negative or positive, the majority of artists of the twentieth century, the century of the terrible wars, nuclear weapons and Auschwitz - could put on canvas? And composers to translate into music? And the writers - in books? I will disown" from thousands and thousands of hacks - we are talking about these artists, composers, writers... Their subconscious is a great power, a terrible weapon. It's the fear of dictators, it does not suffocate and to select, but cannot be killed - manuscripts, as you know, not burn...

You give your child to play a loaded gun? No? And combat grenade? Also not? And art, say, a child can be any, would be real...

So, dear parents: your child, even (God forbid) all TV programs, will not get into your subconscious such a thick layer of black, as from the contemplation of reproductions of many of the greatest works of art of the twentieth century, even sketches to which sold at Sotheby's for millions of dollars (for example, the same "Guernica").

Position will be destructive. This is not, this is not... And what can?

The answer seems obvious. Kind, warm, bright art.


Not to impose the reader's personal tastes, I will not name concrete names. Let me just say the following.

In the art of distinguishing between good and evil is not easier than in real life. But if you approach this problem from the position of theology, neo-Freudian, or any other philosophical systems, we will see that there is a subconscious, perhaps even worldly criteria according to which in most cases any person still get the right answer. For example, no casuistry not justify a maniac Chikatilo and not be called a killer cardio Amosov, although under the knife last died certainly not less people.

Something like that, fortunately, is with the perception of works of art. I am sure that, unconsciously comparing their understanding of kindness and warmth with a specific piece of art, all parents will make the right choice of the picture, which will hang in the baby's room "from two to five.

In school years - Yes, there is already possible comments, there is direct perception sidelined. There is already possible to explain the war, and genocide, and why this picture is, but this is different.

But the child "from two to five" - only the light! Only the art of warmth!

And may distinguish "warm" art of "black" is often easier than the present from the trash. And yet, let's try. A negative emotions child have time to get. That's what life.

Moscow, 1998.


  Sergey Zagraevsky



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