Saturday, April 19, 2014

Art is Freedom.

My presumption is that all artists embark on their projects with a certain degree of intentionality. This can be intentionality about the story behind the work, or the colors, or the strokes, or the emotion, or how a viewer should perceive it. Sometimes this intentionality shines through, sometimes it’s lost in translation, but such is the beauty of art.

The privilege of doing art for pure pleasure means that an artist has complete freedom over her or his creation. My favorite assignments in this class - the sketchbook and the fictional drawing - were the ones when I had almost full reign over the blank slate of paper in front of me.

In contrast, when art is created for a market, it must conform to socioculturally accepted standards of beauty or be fresh enough to supersede the status quo. Of course, these standards may at some point in time be nonexistent, or infinite. But nonetheless, who are we to judge art? My heart always sinks when I visit a museum, and overhear someone say, “That’s not art!”. The example that first comes to mind are the well known paintings by Piet Mondrian, featuring black horizontal and vertical lines, and only the primary colors.

So what if we have no idea what the “meaning” behind a piece of art is? Or if it has a weird angle, or a splotched shade? What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Why not give the artist the benefit of the doubt? Art is freedom. It isn’t meant to be perfect, especially if it’s a reflection of our humanity. I think as long as art serves some purpose for the artist, however trivial or whatever that may be, it merits its existence amongst us.

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