Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to see in a modern way? Art as instance

5 minute waterfall. Sketch to capture the idea,
but to make me want to go back out
and see the waterfall again!
In the past artists changed how people see - they tried to embrace new geometries, new philosophies, new science. (sometimes before science figured it out!)

So what do people see now? What is relevant for a contemporary artist like me?

People are focused on taking images - both in the photographic and possessive sense - rather than experiencing briefly.

My paintings leave things out.

Not just to distill the image to a primal essence, but also so it feels like something's missing. This requires an experience, to know there's more that's not in the painting. A slightly uncomfortable engagement - interesting and drawing in, but seeking something else too. Enquiring further.

I hope people look at my paintings and are reminded of the sea or a specific place and time, but I also want them to go out and see the sea again. For the painting to be a dialogue between painting and reality, repeating itself.

By this, I mean that art needs to reconnect us to the real. To make us want to go back out into the world. The actual real and not a facsimile. Which is why art itself doesn't need to be a facsimile. We're in a culture that is immersed in imagery actually disconnected from our reality. We can learn and see the world, without ever going into the world.

Da Vinci's Deluge sketch - he was one of the first artists to draw
water as an abstract geometric form - curving wall -
to convey a visual impression rather than reality
Art can to rekindle that powerful need to go out, to go see. Art can be a hint, a fragment, a teaser - to use a modern term - at what you can see if you step away from the painting. A reminder of what you have seen in the past, and a daily inspiration to go revisit it.

I realise this is possibly at odds with the my desire to painting the sublime. The sublime being vast and overwhelming. But perhaps it's actually the same thing? The sublime is so grand, so awe-inspiring that our senses can only take in some of it. Our vision and minds can't process it all. Our brains just fill in the blanks with more detail and definition, and of course our eyes build a single "glance" out of many frames to build a panoramic view.

So a painting of part of the experience, a fragment, may be precisely what our actual observation is.

See the coast paintings tina-m.com
Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment

Follow by Email