Difference between the Original and a Copy of an Artpiece

Walter Benjamin, author of the Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

According to Water Benjamin, the main difference between the original and a copy of the art piece is that the original art piece holds value through its history. It portrays it’s time. It holds value through rituals, rather than through cults.

Copies have affected originals as they were originally though of as literal forgery. Over time, copies have been considered as flattery.

Walter Benjamin also says that art pieces have different meanings in different contexts. For example, if a statue of a woman is kept in a temple, people will automatically give it cultural values and consider her to be a goddess. On the contrary, if the same statue was kept on the roadside, people would have a different perception of it. He goes on to explain how copies have made art more easily accessible. About how art used to be “hidden” and hence made more important, but now art holds recognition more important.

He also explains about how an original has an aura that makes it authentic, but the copies can’t showcase the same aura as the original as there is always something missing. But on the same hand, the copies take away the authenticity of the original over time.

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