Tuesday, December 6, 2011

There Is No Correct Answer

I found this picture on the Internet and have found it strangely compelling. I have looked at it long and hard trying to figure out what that compulsion is.

I think it goes like this. One way (some would say the only authentic way) to look at art is to come shedding yourself of all preconceived notions, ideas and associations - put aside your 'self ' and let the painting unveil its meaning - allow the artist to communicate his / her ideas.

Of course this becomes complicated with abstract paintings because human beings are always searching for meaning. We seem hard wired for meaning and when confronted with abstraction, I think one of two things happen. Either we consciously impose a meaning on the abstraction, or we wait and allow the subconscious to suggest a meaning. In the latter case the painting is acting as a kind of psychological Rorschach 'Inkblot' test - the painting elicits associations within the subconscious mind which are bought to consciousness.

The conundrum I find with this genre of paintings is that they are a paradoxical mix of realism and abstraction in terms of 'meaning'. Its immediately obvious what the content of the painting is about, but the meaning of the content has been abstracted away somewhat by its unlikely happening in the "real" world.

So, ponder the painting dear reader, repose comfortably on said couch and tell me if you please......there are no 'right' answers - and it might be very helpful to me :>)



Yorkshire Pudding said...

Hello Alden. Co-incidentally, I shall be in Whangarei in January for a few days. Could you point me to a secret unspoilt sandy beach within easy driving distance of your hometown? With your insider knowledge, is there anything else you would advise us to see/do whilst at Whangarei?

Alden Smith said...

Hi YP, I am more than happy to advise and it's a big topic. Email me at aldensmth@gmail.com and we can have a talk (note there is no 'i' in smth in the email address.