“Do you know that it is very, very necessary for honest people to remain in art? Hardly anyone knows that the secret of beautiful work lies to a great extent in truth and heartfelt sentiment” Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo.
Reaching Out through Art
The artist does have a purpose with his art, but his focus is not always the achievement of an aesthetically pleasing image.
Sometimes creating art is the best, if not the only way an artist can communicate his message; it is his chosen language.
We are social creatures, and I don’t know any artists who keep their art hidden away from the eyes of others. Except perhaps the proverbial, slightly mad and reclusive artist who lives on the fringes of society. Art has to be seen to be appreciated; I am not referring to the piles of unfinished canvases that some of us might have stashed away, meaning to complete in the fullness of time.Their day in the spotlight is yet to come.
A baby’s piercing cry is intended to cause distress; it is impossible to ignore, and it usually prompts swift action. That is how we make our first connection with others.By adulthood, most of us have perfected a way of communication that satisfies our individual needs.
Talking, Singing, Dancing and Writing
There are The Speakers among us who eloquently communicate. These articulate masters can express their every opinion and emotion with ease. Some fuel wars with propaganda spread by the spoken word. Speakers, often the leaders in our society, can hold audiences captive and spellbound with their voices alone.The spoken word is powerful Sometimes though silence is golden.
Performing Artists such as actors and singers make connections in this way too. Musicians reach others with their instruments and music. Music crosses the language barrier.
Writers capture our attention, the written word – black on white, is hard to ignore.Historians connect generations past, present and future with the written word.Empty is the world of the illiterate.
Writers of fiction have the ability to introduce us to new worlds, even new dimensions.In the absence of illustration, the reader is left with a mind imprint that lingers because he has been forced to use his imagination.A Writer can give his creations whatever characteristics he chooses, even immortality. He can give them wings and let them fly if he wants to. Writers understand the enormous power of the imagination
The Language of Art
A Painter speaks through his art with his paint and brushes.Every time you look at a painting you should ask yourself what the underlying message is.
There always is one.
The message can be quite subtle. With this painting of sunlight reflected on a vase of colourful flowers, the artist is perhaps encouraging a smile and urging you to enjoy and appreciate the simple beauty of the ordinary. Light and colour lift a somber mood.
As a painter, I understand that it is sometimes difficult for an artist to get across the right message.
Individuals interpret images differently.I experience subdued almost melancholic feelings of peace and serenity when I look at a painting of a beautiful sunset; you might have an entirely different experience.
The painter’s intention might be to shock the viewer with images or symbols of violence and war. Perhaps there is a warning or a plea for peace in his work.
Fear of the future and teenage angst in art is easy to interpret.Young artists have fewer inhibitions and are usually quite expert at getting their message across.
The old saying ‘Seeing is believing’ rings true from a painter’s perspective. To ‘see for oneself’ is an enriching experience. A blank canvas gives the artist permission to paint on it whatever he wishes to. He can reach deep into his imagination and make the impossible possible. Magic.
A painter can paint can copy nature realistically or warp reality, and he can twist the truth when the truth stripped bare is too confronting.
I accept that art does not always have to be traditional, but the trend seems to be that the more shocking a painting is, the better it is.
Some artists will do anything to have their minute of fame. I question the validity of art that emphasises the vulgar, the grotesque and the shocking. Perhaps there is the necessity to juxtapose good and bad to gain a full understanding of their meaning.Also, if you’ve come face to face with the monster or painted him (it), looked him in the eye and walked away, you have conquered.
Each to his own I guess.
I believe that there are things about humankind that are better left unsaid.Our world could be a much better place if we all strove to build on the positive rather than on the negative.
That is my message.