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Rubin, T.I. (1973). Art: A Relating Phenomenon Between Artists. Am. J. Psychoanal., 33(1):77-79.

(1973). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 33(1):77-79

Art: A Relating Phenomenon Between Artists

Theodore I. Rubin, M.D.

THE task of art is to convey a message. But if the work of art is successful, if the artist is to be fulfilled, then the message is a very special one. It is more than a vehicle for the dissemination of information, however important that information may be. Whatever the medium, great art transmits emotion and more. It invests emotion, creates emotional impact, and taps the feelings of the viewer, reader, or listener, and makes him invest emotions.

A work of art then, results in an evolution of feelings, the sum total of which comprises a mood. In this artistic mood, heartchild of the artistic work, an atmosphere is created in which a relating process is established between the artist and the person with whom he communicates. This process consists of an emotional flow — an exchange — and is not burdened or stultified by a need for Aristotelian logic or intellectual rationale. Free of the pressures and constrictions of conventional forms, it does not have to conform to the demands of established theoretical constellations.

Yet the knowing that will ensue, that knowing which comes from the central kernal of being, that nonverbal deepest knowing of all, will give ample evidence of the most important kind of teaching and learning. I speak here of the knowing which springs from the human condition and which offers the opportunity of confrontation of oneself with oneself and with one's fellows. This is the knowing which initiates satisfaction of the vital need of man to relate to himself and to others.

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