Tuesday, October 23, 2012

confessions of the bud of taste

As the artist and if you are in the blank page syndrome a lot, need to address it. It is not so much a what to draw or a how to draw issue but a communication issue. How do you use your approach to art and connect with the audience at hand. I am working this out even as we type/read. My style is simple-n-precise and although abstract is more controlled, I tend to do it once, in a moment and I'm done. I get, as expected, nods from other artist who appreciate the technical aspect, the work ethic and the mental interplay of art reason. I watch typical art on-lookers walk by with a glance. Ooh, tough crowd. I feel like a stand up comic when they laugh at the joke and are dead silent at the punch line.

OK, here's where the artist undocumented skills come into play. You must balance your art assertiveness with the viewing audience at hand or find an audience who likes you as is and show there (niche). Since I am rather immobile at present, I must find a way to connect. This is not to give up on what I see myself, this is to communicate, strike a chord with the audience at hand.

I had the opportunity to be a part of an art walk via our gallery and art center, and several art shows open to the public. Observation. Watching the stream of people walk past works of art, their reactions, their comments. The people around us like really fine art, who doesn't? They also appreciate high levels of complexity. This amounts to highly complex finely done works to works of wild abandonment, (scribbling and squiggling).  I am not talking about figurative art, people don't seem to have inner arguments with those works. But take away subject matter and folks free fall till they land on an understanding. Even me, dag, what the heck, then I'll step back and see how the color or patterns work in a room or how it makes me feel. OK, it works, I even like it.

Next, I try not to use that "like" to endorse all the work by that artist. I like a musician named Archie Shepp. In a period of his life his music speaks directly to me. His other tunes don't thrill me as much. It is like that with all artist. They strike many chords, when they play my tune I surrender my ears. I do try to justify listening to their other works, but I listen for what I have enjoyed. If I don't hear it I get an attitude. You know it is the same with visual artist. They/I draw/paint many things. Sometimes it is pure, sometimes contrived, but what strikes you is what you like. If you expect to see what you like from an artist all the time, you will be disappointed. But being the people we are, we will hang in there as a fan (this is cool for us artist). We conn ourselves to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly. Are we rewarded? Yes, because we grow with them. I have listened to John Coltrane since the 70's, some tunes of his I still can't comprehend. Many of his tunes I only just now are appreciating, listening till I get it.

Anyway, my original premise here is to say, there is a chord that vibes with the audience at hand. If paint on the canvas doesn't work they might like the same art on a tattoo, or on a motorcycle gas tank or a bathroom shower curtain. What works in a living room might not work in a coffeeshop. Some even work in a gallery setting but over powers a living space at home. Of course I evolve the argument to include many angles for you to muse over. Consider your expression and consider your audience too. If the line is too fine maybe add some sketchiness or Gaussian blur or splatter or something. There is a vibe, a chord, find it, use it.

Am I an expert, no. This blog is to say what's on my art mind as I am going through the motions myself. If you can glean a little or if something sparks in you, then my work is done.

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