Saturday, 13 August 2011
A Personal View: Art
A week or so ago, I was attacked (in writing) by an internet troll with too much time on his/her/it's hands. After googling me he/she/it did 'it's' utmost to rip apart and shred everything creative that I have ever done. Now, I don't ever profess to be a fine artist, I just enjoy painting, sewing and creating arty stuff. (If you are interested I have an older, now dormant, blog with all of my paintings etc there - note: it's old. Out of date and a little ugly, but it's my history so I'll leave it in cyber space - www.talentfactory.wordpress.com )
Do you think that it is right to 'speak with utmost authority' and judge the art of others? A person who only possesses
hand-me-down paper and draws with burnt wood should be equal to the sculptor with a 500,000 budget. We create with what we have and with what we know. True? Or Not?
I did a profile on Michele Batchelder (look on the right and click on 'Profiles' in the Post Cloud there. Now her work is sensual and dream-like - I love it. But there are detailed oil portrait painters who would argue that their attention to detail (eyelashes, skin tone etc) is much harder to do and therefore, better. I disagree. Art is subjective, see?
I have been moved emotionally, while viewing the simplest art. I feel that a true artist evokes a 'feeling' in his/her viewer.
There was a painting that I viewed once at VFC in Pinetown, it was a street scene, oil, approx. 1m x 1m. In the background - dirty brown buildings receded and a group of ominous looking people looked on at the person in the foreground. The artist blurred the group and the background flawlessly giving the illusion of perspective and distance. The person in the foreground was a young Asian girl, her hands grasped at the sides of her head, hair cascading down through clenched fingers, she had her eyes closed and she was shouting. The thing that touched me was that she was not painted yet, just the pencil outline of her was there. Her face, expression etc were all in pencil waiting to be completed. And that was the whole point. She was shouting to be heard, she was incomplete. It broke my heart. I could feel her frustration and anger, her need to be 'finished' and it touched my heart. I have never forgotten that image - it haunted me. So many of us are like that girl.
Another example is our Madiba, Tata Nelson Mandela's line drawings of Robben Island and Table Mountain, so simple and yet, so evocative. They touch the heart.
I think that appreciation of art is a personal matter and those who speak 'with authority' run the risk of demotivating and discouraging expression.
What are your thoughts?
1. Line Drawing sourced from: http://www.learning-to-see.co.uk/more-train-drawings
2. 'Earthfire' by the marvelous Michele Batchelder.
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