Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Free yourself from the confines of verisimilitude, perceptions of reality are just a film strip of malleable shadows."
 
Funny thing about the Impressionist painters. Did you know that when the Impressionist art movement came into existence, the painters couldn't even GIVE AWAY their paintings to the Louvre? Some people say that the Impressionist movement was more about capturing light than subject matter. Obviously there is validity to the first part of that statement. It was about capturing light. But it was also about perception of an every day object in a different way.  That isn't what was considered "art" at that time. Just because your idea isn't en vogue doesn't mean that your expression of that subject matter isn't valid and worthy perception. 

Funny thing about art and people. There are two views, both valid to the observer. There is the intended view that the artists intends to express and then there is the perception. Both can exist in conflict, but does that mean one is less valid? If the artist doesn't get the intended message across, does that make them a "bad" artists? I often wondered what is "bad art" when art is so subjective. Does "bad" or "good" even make the adjective list? Should there be an adjective list? Art is about expression and the subjective ideals of the observer, how much credence should we lend to them?

Then you have the observation of the individual. Unless you are that individual it is utterly impossible to get an accurate representation of the reality of that person. But does that mean your observation is less real, or valid. There is so much miscommunication in the world. I see it every single day. How can we possibly communicate truth or even our perception of truth if it has to travel through so much static and baggage and environmental land mines. How much credence do we lend to the recipient of the ideal when they totally miss the intention of expression? Does that make me "the bad artist"? or does the fault lie in the perception of the ideal? And we as "the artist" have utterly no control about how our "art" is perceived. It is criminal. It is a mind fuck to think that control is anything more than an illusion.

Let's say an artist does create "art" and the perception of the said "art" is received exactly how the artist intended.  Well bravo. But we haven't discussed memory. Now the perceiver has successfully interpreted, said "art". He now has only his memory to rely on to recall this "art". Enter illusion #2...memory. Our memories are nothing better than photocopied garbage from the original. Now we are relying on just an impression of the original to call upon for future reference. Imperfect copies. And each time we remember said "art", our memories are only able to recollect the last memory of that art, not even the original memory. So each time we recall it, we are looking at a photocopy of a photocopy, of a photocopy. Memory is an illusion too. The most reliable memory is smell and taste, because those receptors lie in the same place as our long term memories "receptacles" of our brains. Sight....is more fleeting. But I suppose perception of art isn't mechanically sight alone. It is visceral, a feeling. How fleeting is that? I always thought "good art" made you feel, something visceral. It wakes up something in you. Something that wasn't there previous to viewing said art. That is my benchmark of good art. It doesn't have to be pretty or sweet, it doesn't have to be morbid or earth shattering or even life changing and you don't even have to "like" it. Good art makes you feel something. Whether that something was or wasn't the intended expression, is moot.

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