There are a lot of people who consider the photo above art, as its own piece by the artist and as a piece of “fanart.” The subjects depicted in this photo are Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha from the hit anime, Naruto, as they share a hug. It is well drawn and pleasing to look at whilst bringing a large fanbase together with a shared feeling of relief that these two young men are together again. But before I get into that, allow me to share some backstory about Naruto and Sasuke: they are best friends turned enemies because Sasuke is desperate to avenge his family – this leads Sasuke down a rather dark path and Naruto is desperately trying to bring his friend back from that darkness. There’s like four seasons based on Naruto’s constant attempts to save his friend and Sasuke only delving deeper into the “dark side.”
According to Tolstoy, art can be only considered art if it conveys a feeling that can be shared between both the artist and the viewer. How much of an art something is relies heavily on the individuality of the feelings, the clearness of those feelings, and the sincerity of them. The example of art I’ve included in this post meet these three criteria:
- The artist and viewer can take feelings of relief and joy from this picture, and the degree of such depends on how strongly one felt towards Sasuke and Naruto’s relationship.
- If you can point out any other feelings to be taken from this, let me know.
- There are a number of different ways to depict Sasuke and Naruto. The author specifically chose to draw them hugging, as if reconciling their differences, shows a sincere sense of relief.
I still agree with Tolstoy that art must convey a feeling between the artist and the viewer. The degree of those feelings may differ depending on one’a connection to the subject, but the same feeling is still there on some level.
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