Thursday, August 03, 2006

On Art and Decoration

A seminar for artists about marketing has me thinking about art and decoration.

One artist was very upset about the idea that people would buy a piece of art to go with their couch. And yet if someone bought a piece of art and it looked horrible hanging over the couch - then that doesn't seem like a good thing either. For the art or the couch.

But the question really seems to be more of whether the art does anything other than provide color, style, and something to fill up wall space. For the decorator - art may just be one more piece of the puzzle - a design element. For the artist - it may or may not mean a lot more.

Art can be something that inspires, that encourages people to see things in a new way, appreciate nature, something that evokes emotion. People can choose what sorts of emotions or ideas they wish to be surrounded with.

Advertisers use as a tool - the arousal of emotion. Some modern art is mostly provocative - some created to disturb. The more disturbing - the more likely to be noticed. Like advertising.

A recent trend in art was photographs that showed human suffering in various places around the world. While I am not one to shy away from bad news - having disturbing images on my walls is not what I would choose.

I am interested in creating art that accesses deeply felt spiritual and emotional connections. Art that evokes positive emotions. It's ironic that some of the artists who express that the best seem to have been depressed individuals. Like Van Gogh. Like Jackson Pollack.

There are museums full of religious art with the divine symbolized as Jesus. Islamic art does not depict the divine in human form - patterns are used. In China and Japan, art and nature and spirituality have been more connected.

I create art using colors and textures and inspiration from nature. Jackson Pollack once said, "I am nature" - in that he felt so connected to it. There was also a writer 2000 years ago, Apuleius, who wrote, "I am Nature, the universal Mother... primordial child of time..." That is the sort of spirituality I wish to express.

If people end up putting my paintings over their couch - that's ok - better there than my closet.

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