The Effect of Mass Production on Artworks Free Essay


This essay done by Walter Benjamin denotes the effect of mass production on Artwork as well as its traditional and distinct uniqueness. Literally, the technological artwork production has significantly influenced the societies and fascists’ culture and political values. Walter Benjamin has raised two key issues. First, technological reproduction usually stresses the elements of artwork that may not be reachable to human senses for instance fine details belonging to architecture in a photograph (Benjamin, 2008, p.21). A vivid example is given about instances whereby cameras in films depict the optical unconscious that may normally remain out of reach of normal sense view. Second, the technological production of artwork is capable of spreading copies of the original to locations that are inaccessible by the original (Benjamin, 2008, p.22). For instance, a recorded musical concert may be circulated out of the auditorium.

The most notable key points from Benjamin include his explanation of the origin of art and that people have usually been capable of replicating art through different means since the prehistoric ages. Since the study of the history of art, it is observable the way mankind has advanced from cave painting to advance stone writing and then later to drawing on wood blocks (Benjamin, 2008, p.25). Art has normally been replicated in various ways, time for the purposes of the artistic practice for a student, for profiteers, or exhibition of the work of the master (Perkins and Morphy, 2006, p.41). Initially, technological reproduction was new, and wood cutting was among the earliest methods utilized in reproducing art, though it was later contested in the 19th century by Lithography (Murphie and Potts, 2017, p.25). Essentially, Lithography progressed and improved art production in numbers and also variations. It resulted in graphic art taking its place in day-to-day as well as society’s domestic life under the materialistic influence. The invention of photography was successful a decade later in attaining society’s demands (Lovejoy, 2004, p.31). However, photography diverted artists’ focus on the canvas since it depended only on the usage of the eye as the instrument. Actually, what ought to be drawn by use of hand became easily captured in a few seconds, and quickly through a camera’s lens (Bowen et al., 2018, p.5). This enhanced art production to a greater level with high speed and drove art into a manipulative state.

The implication of Benjamin’s ideas includes that an image or a painting in its original state poses a certain unique characteristic of its history termed the aura of art. Such an aura is a rate characteristic and quality of art around art with emotional as well as historical beliefs (Benjamin, 2008, p.38). Albeit a photograph is more accurate and fast in capturing the moment, it only presents a reflection of the moment and can be influenced and changed by a lens as well as the viewpoint when producing it (Labadie, 2018, p.122). Essentially, such production is lacking the traditional value as well as the historical proof that the photograph existed in its original state (Topno et al., 2019, p.279). A drawn painting may pose an emotional or cultural affection existing between the subject and also the artist including what the artist is feeling regarding it at that specific time (Fiore, 2018, p.37). Yet, alternatively, the same subject’s photograph may be changed and bonded for another audience at a different time showing different meanings, thus misplacing its original aura (Franco, 2017, p.54).

Essentially, I think the technological artwork reproduction significantly influences society’s cultural as well as political values. In instances whereby politicians utilized art as a way to grow their political agenda to the society as well as controlling the exhibition in order to deliver messages in methods that seemed to be most convenient to their desires (Patriotta and Hirsch, 2016, 871). I think technology has helped to increase the efficiency and the accuracy of recording subjects in their real state. Photographs are fast and record the subjects’ looks including color, and size, and also can record the time the photograph was taken.  Unlike paintings whereby the painter can manipulate the subject as he or she tries to modify and express his creativity thus may lose the originality of the subject (Nisbet, 2017, p. 62). The current society has significantly embraced technology and massive technological shifts have been made. Therefore, it is apparent that photography will be chosen over paintings or traditional wood carving.

According to image 1, the painting of Lisa Gherardini commonly referred to as Mona Lisa portrays some ideas of artwork (“Portrait of Lisa Gherardini” n.d.). Begin with, Mona Lisa, painting is an incredible work of art that is drawn portraying its uniqueness and aura. Mona Lisa who is a wife to Francesco del Giogondo has been drawn to her own original state. Her physical looks and appearance has been presented as the way she naturally and physically appears to look like. Moreover, Mona Lisa is known to be a humble woman and wife and by the looks of the painting, the portrayal in the painting shows her to be looking humble. The hands in the portrayed have crossed, signifying her humbleness. Her face is relaxed with a slight smile which adds weight to the work of art showing her unique and original state. Additionally, she crossed hands in the painting to depict her submissiveness which is an aspect of a cultural value. Add to it, cultural affection is depicted in the painting by her crossed hand, showing submissiveness and acceptance to be dominated by her husband. In essence, the submissiveness of women to their husbands is a cultural value that is highly treasured by communities in society. Reflection of the moment has been applied to the painting in form of the lightness applied in the painting which signifies that the actual moment the subject was painted was during the daytime. Material influence has played a bigger role in the painting in highlighting and stressing various parts of the painting to portray or stress the intended message. The painter used bright paint on the subject’s face to emphasize the looks as well as to more focus attention on the main subject, Mona Lisa. Therefore, painting is a great work of art that depicts a lot of factual information about it.


Essentially, it is evident that art has significantly transformed over the recent past. As time goes by, new technology kicks in and influences the work of art.  Literally, the technological reproduction of art is swift, characterized by the massive production of art as compared to other forms of art production. Despite that technology production of art lacks aura in it, currently, people tend to prefer it over traditional art production such as painting which has aura because technology production of art has the ability to capture the art in real-time and in the moment. Additionally, the general technological shift by people has made people preferably adopt technology production of art.