Wednesday, January 1, 2020

What is Art, Really?

What is Art, Really?
Great Art is not about materials or techniques. It is not about color or size. Surprisingly, it is not about the signature or provenance. Great Art is about the emotion created when you view it. One of my personal favorite Artists said: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas defined it simply. This classification applies to all genres and mediums.

Image result for degas_petits_rats.jpg

Many years ago, a fellow Artist combined 'found objects' into a single form and painted the whole thing white. I know what you are thinking. It was not bland or boring. The finished object was magical in the feelings it evoked in the people who saw it. Some were moved by its peaceful presentation, others by the power of the assembly and curious juxtapositions. Public appeal was strong and this Art sold for serious money.

I was in a gallery in Houston, TX in 1983. Standing in front of a large portrait in oil. The style was photo-realism. I was amazed at the lack of brush strokes and the fine details accomplished by the Artist. Others were also impressed with the technique. Conversations all seemed to focus on the method of creation. No person that I heard commented on the Artistic value of the work. Yes, it was very impressive and the mind made itself known, but it did not evoke an emotion. We were left cold, impressed, but emotionless. Was this really Great Art?

How does an Artist create an emotional reaction to their Art? I will be discussing this in a continuing series of blog posts. Stay tuned...

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