Sunday, May 21, 2017

So…….. recently I have heard some exhortations about WHAT ART IS.  However the words were not spoken by an artist and shared the faint criticism of what the shadow of “art” can look like.  It pulled up some emotions and objections that I felt I needed to verbalize and so this is what I need to say.

Art has been called “vain-glory” by some and certainly it can often fall into that category but to stereotype it in that way is really over-reaching.  It is reductionistic to pigeon-hole the act of art as merely expressionistic or emotional indulgence when it really is so much more.

I can only speak for myself but as a “Maker” of art my process includes sculpting a form or painting a canvas that not only imbues emotional content, representational images or archetypal symbols, but also poses a question or is stating a fact whether it is obscure, obvious or mysterious or impenetrable at the first glace.  The work is multilayered literally, figuratively and theoretically.

When I finish a piece of work it is my hope and desire that the piece will be dialogical versus monological.  I really do want there to be a dialogue that ensues with the observer and others or with the observer and the artist.  Within each piece, I the artist, seek to plant a seed within the work that is generative in it’s energy and in how it touches your heart or mind.  Sometimes I am successful and sometimes maybe not, yet the seed’s beginnings or intention, whether purposefully or unconsciously always lie in the roots of the creation.

The value of art to create change in the world, be it through social activism, shared emotions or raw expressionism married to strong statements of universal truths can create a fire within others that can lead to action versus just reaction and empathy which manifests as compassion. 

Art communicates and transcends borders and boundaries and can always be so much more than a mere act of self indulgence or a narcissistic plea….…….especially if we are willing to step outside our preconceived ideas of what “art” is.   Often myopic definitions  preclude the widening of our perceptions and tighten our view points. 

May we strive to expand and widen the lens through which we see…..really see what is before us, verses looking through the keyhole of our past visioning.