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Sergei Chaplian
Managing Partner, Attorney at Law

Same situation can be viewed from two radically different angles. “But how?”, you may ask. The trial attorneys have the answer.

 

Each party involved in litigation always believes that it is the one who is right. However, there is a fine saying: everyone has their own truth. Any fact can be interpreted differently and any viewpoint can be justified. This puts attorney’s professionalism to a great test. Truly excellent attorney should be able to protect the client, regardless of the side he is on.

 

There is a funny example to illustrate the above. The Black Square, an iconic painting by Kazimir Malevich: some call it a true masterpiece, while the others stick to quite the opposite opinion. There is and will be no correct answer here. That being said, as we are all well aware, discussion is the anvil upon which the spark of truth is struck. So, is the Black Square really a masterpiece? Or is it nothing but a scam passed off as high art? What if there is an alternative belief? Every point of view has the right to exist, and there has to be a way to defend each of them.

 

Opinion in Favor

 

There are not many art pieces out there, igniting so much controversy. Its influence on the art of the XX-XXI centuries was undoubtedly immense. It unlocked the door to new opportunities, new art forms and content. Thanks to Malevich, who has used unusual geometric abstraction, the art stopped being just a plain reflection of reality.

 

What do we see when we observe Mona Lisa? A woman sitting on a chair. This is how it was with nearly any painting, before the Black Square has been created: we see only what is pictured. Now, what do we see, looking at the Black Square? Definitely not a square, for there are no right angles, and most certainly not the black paint, since the artist has not used any. After digging deeper, everyone will see something different there. This is truly one-of-a-kind art piece which makes the one who views it see what his imagination is letting him see.

 

Anyone can draw a black square, but only Malevich was able to breath significance and meaning into it. This explains why this painting is a recognized masterpiece, whereas the others remain to be ordinary black squares.

 

 

Opinion Against

 

So, what do we actually see on this painting? Dirty dark – not even black – polygon, that is not even square, on a dirty white background? How long was the artist painting it, exactly? Probably, like Leonardo da Vinci working on The Last Supper, he could not find the right vision. And is there even one? Over 500 years, the artists had been trying to copy Mona Lisa and failed to re-create it. I wonder, is it difficult to re-create the Black Square? Can a ten-year-old do it?

 

Art should inspire admiration! Do you feel anything close to admiration, looking at the Black Square? Do you feel like seeing it over and over again? Try answering the above questions and you will come to a natural conclusion.

 

What is the Black Square? Well-advertised emptiness! There is nothing more to it.

 

Alternative Opinion

 

So, you are claiming that the Black Square is no masterpiece. But do you have any idea how much this painting costs? At least $20 million, according to the most conservative estimate. At the bids this price would most likely exceed $100 million. Now, try finding another similar nonsense which would be worth this amount of money and make professionals argue about it for more than one hundred years, looking for hidden meaning and – surprisingly – finding it eventually. It is interesting to think whether the author was smirking to himself, “I am a recognized artist, so I might as well create utter rubbish which the observers would still admire.” Only a few would dare say like in a fairytale by Andersen, “But the king has no clothes!" But even then, their voices will drown in a roar of everyone’s admiration. People will be queuing up to see the “piece of art”. This is why Malevich is unique. This is why the Black Square is a masterpiece. Masterpiece of clever marketing. Masterpiece of efficient PR. Masterpiece which has not been outshone by anyone yet.

 

Now, which opinion can you relate to the most?

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