Reproductions of artwork are fairly common today. They appear in books, smaller versions of paintings from museums are available for framing and can be appreciated at home, only sculptural pieces appear considerably less frequently. The field of reproductions is quite well established and seems to leave little room for advances.
Yet, this is exactly the area where PlayArt has made a significant and groundbreaking innovation. A small scale PlayArt object that sells in a museum shop provides the user the joy of discovery and creativity. In most cases, the user can manipulate the modular elements of the piece and recreate some of the artistic decisions of the sculptor.
It is said that most of Henry Moore's later, monumental bronze sculptures began as small plaster maquettes, small enough to be held in his hand and carried in his pocket. Describing his creation of such a maquette, he observed: "I can turn it, look at it from underneath, see it from one view, hold it against the sky, imagine it any size I like." In most cases, the intricate process of enlargement was executed by the foundry. Moore's molding of the plaster can be viewed as a form of hands-on play. The enlargement then becomes a form of meta-play, something entirely beyond the playful manipulation of the plaster. This is generally quite common in the creative process of sculptors.
If such a small scale PlayArt object is also installed in a public space where the large scale of the sculpture can compliment the aesthetic qualities of the small object, it completes the artistic process from the initial manipulation of the modules to the finalized enlargement. It clarifies that the aesthetics and not the size is the decisive factor in the evaluation of the artwork. Even the photographic enlargement alone assists the user in envisioning the creation in large scale.
This means the player can think like an artist, from the manipulation of the modules where the PlayArt objects facilitate the creative process, to the variation of scale.
The next creative step is when the player chooses different materials or objects, such as bowling balls, car tires, etc. At this stage, everyone can be a player and an artist. As Novalis (1772 to 1801) maintained:
"Every person is meant to be an artist."
He believed that the active human mind yearns for the creative kind of satisfaction and fulfillment. And Friedrich Schiller added later:
"Man plays only when he is in the full sense of the word a man, and he is only wholly Man when he is playing."