March 14, 2013
I listened to a presentation at a local art exhibition recently that began "I don't like watercolors". Continuing he dismissed ALL representational art culminating in the thought that only abstract or non-objective art "makes you think", further explaining that someone could "see a stack of shoes" in one piece. Saying you like non-objective art because you "see things in it" is not unlike saying you like it because you have a liver. If you want to believe that a rorschach test is art, be my guest. There is a reason that it is called a test and not art, and that is because it does not lead the viewer - it reveals the viewer. To "think" while enjoying an abstract or non-objective artwork would involve: an understanding of the composition; that the color evokes a certain feeling; its relationship to time; understanding symbolism; movement; etc. That is thinking. If I were to subscribe to this speaker's art ideology, I could just go outside and name the items my brain "sees" in the clouds. That is less than thinking. With that said, if that is the way you want to experience artwork, knock yourself out. I can say without hesitation you may learn much about yourself. But, realize that you are cheating yourself of the full experience by not exploring where the artist has taken you. I personally use knowledge of brain function in my representational art. If you dismiss representational art out of hand, don't look at my work....you might have to think.
"What I'm looking for in my interaction is critical thinking on the part of the person pitching to me." - Brad Feld
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