Friday, April 8, 2011

seeing & knowing

So, what is art?

To be able to “have” art, I think it’s essential that I know first what it is, don’t you agree?

You see, the problem I have with the word “art” is that is used so freely, so thoughtlessly.

“I love your art!”

“You have such great talent for art!”

“I’m amazed at your art!”

And don’t misinterpret me when I say that, because I’m one of tho
se people that use the word “art” to describe something beautiful or done with great skill.

Deedra Levy's "Nerissa"

What about the ugly things that are also created with skill? Are they “art” too?

Michael Hussar's "Lamb of God"

To approach the question “What is art?” I must work with two principles that have proved efficient when it comes to studying anything:

1) Understanding the value of ignorance.

2) Understanding the value of intellectual humility.

The value of ignorance: If what we see is affected by what we know, then in theory, it would be more sensible to see things first as they are without any background knowledge, and then with a little background knowledge. When we deal with art that we are familiar with the artist, then it changes. Tricky , huh? Ok lets try an experiment. Look at this painting, absorb it.

This is by Van Gough.

It was his last painting before he committed suicide.

Vincent Van Gogh "Wheat field with crows"

Notice how that last statement changed the way you looked at it? Did it change what you were looking for in that painting?

What we know changes what we see.

This makes me think that maybe art in itself is always personal, always subjective to the expectation. Art does not change our life, our life, our experiences changes what we see in art!

All this time I’ve been looking for that inspiration that will make art, when my own negativity, depression and desperation were changing what I saw as art!

What do you think?Maybe I'm on to something here?


  1. I love the philosophical slant of this post! I ponder art, the value of art etc all the time. : )

  2. Hmmmmm - a theme for loooooon discussions ;) "Art" is used very freely now - everything can be art or seen as art. And many of the things you see, when you go to an art fair are ugly or shocking or boring. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For me, Van Gogh has been a great inspiration and a true artist. Once, i've seen a big show of his paintings in Amsterdam, and it blew me waway! Such intensity in these pictures! And he was a man, who gave art his everything. It's so tragic, that he died, knowing that everybody disliked his work - and now his paintings are so popular and they sell for - a fortune!
    Where was i ? More soon! Hope you have a lovely, inspiring weekend Maria!

  3. Sorry Maria, i made a lot of spelling mistakes here, that's when i try to type fast ;)

  4. You've got it: "our experiences changes what we see in art!" Great post, it made me STOP and reflect on your text. Gracias.

  5. You are so on the ball with this! So lovely to read and open up too. Thank you! Love the texture on your mermaid by the way!

  6. super interesting what you expose here I'll have to meditate on it

  7. Maria, it is interesting how you look different to your family. You maybe a very strong soul bringing in your memory vibration?
    Be lovely to have a bigger knowing for sure about our soul journey's.
    Loads of lovexx

  8. Great topic, I talk about this with my family and everyone has different views. I believe art is a personal thing and everyone has their own views on what THEY think is beautiful or not beautiful etc.

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