No. 7

The Creation of ‘Aura’: Layer by layer

What does one need to create a structuristic artwork? Firstly, I’d like to focus on the tangible necessities:

Fig. 1: Rageth. 2017. Needed materials in order to paint ‘structuristically’

Regarding my experience teaching in New York, I can definitely say that this special technique is functional and doesn’t require a specialised venue. The only room we had available in order to paint was our shared dormitory (which measured approximately 25 square metres, whereas the tables were almost invisible in size…). After I bought all the needed materials we were ready to get “creativity, one our most precious assets” started (Howkins 2013: vii).

Structuristic artworks contain several layers of paint and colour, therefore the making takes at least six hours per art piece. All of my international students came up to three times to Yuna’s and my room in order to get their painting finished. In the beginning it was a hard task to explain everything in English (I talked and talked, that was not the issue, but sometimes my counterparts didn’t get me…!). I experienced a first personal development when my English teacher Maya attended art class – she corrected every single error I made in terms of speaking, therefore I was able to progress rapidly in this area.

art meaning

This feeling of ‘I’ve achieved something, I did make my own New York stay unforgettable’ made me realise that I wanted to give painting lessons for an international audience in English. One of the most gratifying moments was when several of my students told me independently their love for this technique, they appreciated the possibility it provides to proverbially shape ones soul into the canvas, proofing that “creativity is as individual as it is universal” (Tilley 2013).

Even though a photography cannot properly depict the original, I believe the above displayed structuristic masterpieces show how much effort, lifeblood and passion was involved in their making. But why is that? Is there really nothing more convincing than the original?

“My idea of a good picture is one that’s in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous. It’s being in the right place at the wrong time.”

Andy Warhol (1927-87), American artist (cited by Ratcliffe 2012: 317)

Aura is the core of a masterpiece (Benjamin 2010: 47). Benjamin sees aura as aloofness, authenticity and uniqueness of an original. Aura transforms works of art into historical witnesses, they gain authority (2010: 53).


In order to close a circle: Art, nothing more than or nothing else than veneer? Is creativity intangible? How can we us it in order to increase socio-cultural, economic and environmental impact within the creative sector?

“Participation in the arts is an effective route for personal growth, leading to enhanced confidence, skill-building and educational developments which can improve people’s social contacts and employability.” (Matarasso 1997: Summary VI)

Questions upon questions – at least in my case they might be answered by a little more soul shaping and creation of aura, layer by layer.

B i b l i o g r a p h y

BENJAMIN, Walter. 2010. Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit. First Edition. Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag.

FINDLAY, Michael. 2012. The Value of Art. Money, Power, Beauty. First Edition. Munich, London, New York: Prestel Verlag.

HOOK, Philip. 2014. Breakfast at Sotheby’s. An A-Z of the Art World. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

HOWKINS, John. 2013. The Creative Economy. How people make money from ideas. Second Edition. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

MATARASSO, François. 1997. Use or Ornament? The social impact of participation in the arts. Online PublicationComedia.

RATCLIFFE, Susan. 2012. Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Fifth Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

F u l l   l i s t   o f   f i g u r e s

Figure 1: RAGETH, Onna. 2017. Needed materials in order to paint ‘structuristically’. Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

Figure 2: CHEN, Jill. 2013. Structuristic Art work. Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

Figure 3: KIM, Soryong. 2013. Structuristic Art work. Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

Figure 4: TARABORRELLI, Valeria. 2013. Structuristic Art work. Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

Figure 5: YEON HAM, Mu. 2013. Structuristic Art work. Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

Figure 6: VAN TOURNHOUT, Rose. 2013. Structuristic Art work. Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

Figure 7: PEREZ, Maya. 2013. Structuristic Art work. Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

F u l l   l i s t   o f   v i d e o s

RAGETH, Onna. 2017. Walter Benjamin – What is Aura? Private Collection: Onna Rageth.

Figure 8: DA VINCI, Leonardo. 1503. Mona Lisa. Available at: [accessed on 29 March 2017].

Figure 9: WARHOL, Andy. 1963. 30 are better than one. Available at: [accessed on 29 March 2017].

TILLEY, Jonathan. 2013. What creativity is trying to tell you: Jonathan Tilley at TEDxStuttgart. Available at: [accessed on 29 March 2017].

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