Introduction:Imagination andfantasy are often considered to be one and the same; in reality the twoconcepts widely vary. Imagination isbased off real experiences, such as an artist being able to portray their view ofthe world using symbolism, instead of through literal means.
It also impliesthat the root of imagination originates from real life events that haveaffected an artist positively or negatively, leading the artist to express the consequence of that event in theirwork. By using imagination as a form of expression, artists allow themselves anapproach in which to form mental images of something not present to theirexternal senses, and thus not perceived in reality. Wordsworth (1997)believed that “imagination is a mental power which alters the external world creatively”,which highlights that artistsuse their internal passions that drive their ideas in order to manipulate theworld around them into something that is easier for them to digest.In comparison, fantasy is defined asan imaginative form where impossible and the improbable are brought into realitybecause “fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, as It’s a way oflooking at life through the wrong end of a telescope … And that enables youto laugh at life’s realities (Seuss, (n.d.), Brainy Quote.
com). Seuss is stressingthat fantasy allows for flexibility with norms associated with reality, inorder to create an extraordinary piece or experience that audiences can relateto. Examples of fantasy motifs includemagic, myths, the supernatural, and possessing superpowers. Unlike imaginingbeing an astronaut, being a superhero, in the fantasy sense, is scientificallyimpossible to replicate in our reality.
Imagination is the vehicle artists usein order to portray fantasy in their art pieces. Whilst people experienceimagination in reality, fantasy is unrealistic and has never happened toanyone. In this essay, I will be usingmy interest in imagination and fantasy to compare and contrast the similaritiesand differences between fantasy and imagination in art. I will also be comparingpast and present artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso,Sarolta Ban and Hermi Matisse that use either fantasy or imagination in theirwork. In addition, I will dissect how Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a metaphor for why some people perceivethemselves to have little or no imagination.
Lastly, I will be analysing how stronglyfantasy has connections with the different types of imaginations, as suggestedby Dr. Murray Hunter of the University ofMalaysia Perlis (2012), and how successful artists are at utilising differenttypes of imagination in their work. This will thereby lead me to determine whether fantasy or imagination is the most usefulconcept when creating pieces of art, and how that affects the reality ofartistic pieces.