Saturday, July 11, 2009

See Wall

I studied art for years and years. I learned to draw and paint. I was a realist and perfected my skills with studies of the human form and likenesses of those I met. I did landscapes that rivaled the masters. But eventually I was not satisfied with this work. It seemed almost photographic, too limited in its interpretation. I was unable to express the intangible, the thing we know we are all missing, and so my work became more and more abstract. This painting, "See Wall", represents the path of my work today. To me it speaks of the limitations we feel, the divisions and compartmentalization, the doors that did not open, the choices we might have made, the insurmountable wall that stands between us and true knowing.

None of the above paragraph is true. I kind of wish it was. But in reality this image is a photograph taken with a little point and shoot and tweaked a little in Photoshop. It actually is a sea wall standing 100 feet high. Just above it is a small town called Robin Hood's Bay that overlooks the North Sea.

Same image, different stories that make us feel so differently about the work. In story one this image is starting to have meaning that I can relate to. In story two I feel duped, the victim of a cheap shot, and I really don't want to consider it any more.

We have all seen abstract work in museums that are at least similar to this image but they have story one. For this image I had to see it, deem it worthy of recording with my camera, and then make aesthetic decisions as to how to crop and how much tweaking to do. But I did not need the degree of training nor the level of skill required of story one.

And I think this still carries significant weight in how we value works of art.

No comments: