Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My four year old could do this...

Why Do Abstract Artists Paint or draw Abstractly?
The paradoxical question…Can an abstract artist actually create a pictorial painting?
We’ve all heard the criticisms: “People paint abstracts because they can’t draw,” and “My four year old could have done that.”  I have fielded that questions many times over the last sixty years, my explanation always seems to generate more questions.  I often resorted to cryptic answers in order to end the circular argument.  My favorite response is “art is and I am”. Art is defined as: “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting, drawing  or sculpture.”  Art is not limited to a particular style or subject matter..Most individuals  cannot deal with such a broad statement and they do not see art as a process but as a product. In a process oriented activity we use materials and our own thinking and problem solving skills to create something that is uniquely ours . What we are learning while doing is more important than what it looks like at the end.
Like the history of art, the process of art is linear. As our knowledge and technology grow our perception of the world changes.  Artists explore new ways of seeing and explaining the ever changing environment.  In my own work, I explore the world using symbols.It is study of the heart,soul and mind, creating esoteric connections to the universe. Without symbols our lives would be as spiritually impoverished as sleep without dreams. Our waking life is full of symbolism operating on an unconscious level. A symbol is a sign which opens up or makes transparent insights and truths that were previously hidden.

We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.

The Symbolic Life (1953); also in Man and His Symbols (1964)

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

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